Chasing the Demon

Chasing the Demon

The full truth has never been fully revealed—until now. Chasing the Demon, from decorated fighter pilot and acclaimed aviation historian Dan Hampton, tells, for the first time, the extraordinary true story of mankind’s quest for Mach 1.

Author: Dan Hampton

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780062688743

Category: Transportation

Page: 352

View: 151

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • At the end of World War II, a band of aces gathered in the Mojave Desert on a Top Secret quest to break the sound barrier–nicknamed "The Demon" by pilots. The true story of what happened in those skies has never been told. Speed. In 1947, it represented the difference between victory and annihilation. After Hiroshima, the ability to deliver a nuclear device to its target faster than one’s enemy became the singular obsession of American war planners. And so, in the earliest days of the Cold War, a highly classified program was conducted on a desolate air base in California’s Mojave Desert. Its aim: to push the envelope of flight to new frontiers. There gathered an extraordinary band of pilots, including Second World War aces Chuck Yeager and George Welch, who risked their lives flying experimental aircraft to reach Mach 1, the so-called sound barrier, which pilots called “the demon.” Shrouding the program in secrecy, the US military reluctantly revealed that the “barrier” had been broken two months later, after the story was leaked to the press. The full truth has never been fully revealed—until now. Chasing the Demon, from decorated fighter pilot and acclaimed aviation historian Dan Hampton, tells, for the first time, the extraordinary true story of mankind’s quest for Mach 1. Here, of course, is twenty-four-year-old Captain Chuck Yeager, who made history flying the futuristic Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947. Officially Yeager was the first to achieve supersonic flight, but drawing on new interviews with survivors of the program, including Yeager’s former commander, as well as declassified files, Hampton presents evidence that a fellow American—George Welch, a daring fighter pilot who shot down a remarkable sixteen enemy aircraft during the Pacific War—met the demon first, though he was not favored to wear the laurels, as he was now a civilian test pilot and was not flying the Bell X-1. Chasing the Demon sets the race between Yeager and Welch in the context of aviation history, so that the reader can learn and appreciate their accomplishments as never before.
Categories: Transportation

Valor

Valor

ALSO BY DAN HAMPTON Operation Vengeance: The Astonishing Aerial Ambush That Changed World War II Chasing the Demon: A Secret History of the Quest for the Sound Barrier, and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered It The Flight: Charles ...

Author: Dan Hampton

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9781250275868

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 289

Valor is the magnificent story of a genuine American hero who survived the fall of the Philippines and brutal captivity under the Japanese, from New York Times bestselling author Dan Hampton. Lieutenant William Frederick “Bill” Harris was 25 years old when captured by Japanese forces during the Battle of Corregidor in May 1942. This son of a decorated Marine general escaped from hell on earth by swimming eight hours through a shark-infested bay; but his harrowing ordeal had just begun. Shipwrecked on the southern coast of the Philippines, he was sheltered by a Filipino aristocrat, engaged in guerilla fighting, and eventually set off through hostile waters to China. After 29 days of misadventures and violent storms, Harris and his crew limped into a friendly fishing village in the southern Philippines. Evading and fighting for months, he embarked on another agonizing voyage to Australia, but was betrayed by treacherous islanders and handed over to the Japanese. Held for two years in the notorious Ofuna prisoner-of-war camp outside Yokohama, Harris was continuously starved, tortured, and beaten, but he never surrendered. Teaching himself Japanese, he eavesdropped on the guards and created secret codes to communicate with fellow prisoners. After liberation on August 30, 1945, Bill represented American Marine POWs during the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay before joining his father and flying to a home he had not seen in four years. Valor is a riveting new look at the Pacific War. Through military documents, personal photos, and an unpublished memoir provided by his daughter, Harris’ experiences are dramatically revealed through his own words in the expert hands of bestselling author and retired fighter pilot Dan Hampton. This is the stunning and captivating true story of an American hero.
Categories: History