Above the Thunder. Reminiscences of a Field Artillery Pilot by Raymond C. Kerns

By Raymond C. Kerns

An amazing memoir of an aviator's provider within the Pacific Theater — "If you are looking for macho, fighting-man speak, you may have picked up the incorrect e-book. . . . this can be simply a decent narration of a few of my reports . . . in the course of my provider within the U.S. military among 1940 and 1945." —Raymond C. Kerns — The son of a Kentucky tobacco farmer, Raymond Kerns dropped out of highschool after the 8th grade to assist at the farm. He enlisted within the military in 1940 and, after education as a radio operator within the artillery, was once assigned to Schofield Barracks (Oahu) the place he witnessed the japanese assault on Pearl Harbor and took part within the resulting conflict. within the months earlier than Pearl Harbor, Kerns had handed the Army's flight education admission examination with flying shades. yet simply because he lacked a highschool degree, the military refused to provide him flying classes. Undaunted, inner most Kerns took classes with a civilian flying university and used to be really scheduled for his first solo...

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Utke Author’s sketch of Maffin Bay area, New Guinea Map, Damortis-Rosario to Baguio, Luzon, Philippines, February–April, 1945 Aerial view of mountainous terrain, Luzon, Philippines The author beside his L-4 The author receiving an Air Medal from Maj. Gen. Percy W. Clarkson Map, 33d Division operations on Luzon, Philippines Map, 33d Division objectives in the battle for Baguio, Philippines Machine gunners on Hill 24-A, Baguio, Philippines Aerial view of war-shattered Baguio, Philippines Pilot’s view of Loacan Field, Baguio, Philippines The author and his wife, Dorothy, 1952 Cemetery at Santa Barbara, Luzon, Philippines Piper J-3 Cub/Army L-4 A NOTE ON THE LANGUAGE This book faithfully records a time in American history when certain terms were commonly used that may now seem offensive.

The L-4 was actually just a slightly modified civilian J-3 Piper Cub, a small (thirty-five-foot wingspan) airplane designed in 1930 for low-cost pleasure flying and basic flight training (see appendix for diagrams, full specifications, and a detailed history of its civilian development). A Cub carried two people, shoehorned into the cramped cockpit one behind the other (in tandem), and seemed an unlikely candidate for a warplane, which is no doubt why the Army brass dismissed out-of-hand the idea of using it in warfare when it was first proposed.

Air Forces pilots were normally based with their fighters or bombers at airfields away from the fighting front, or (in the case of Navy and Marine pilots) on aircraft carriers at sea, and only saw combat infantrymen, if they saw them at all, when they attacked assigned targets in some proximity to them. They rarely had any personal interaction with foot soldiers. At the end of each flying mission, Air Corps pilots returned to their relatively civilized quarters (the envy of all infantrymen in their muddy foxholes on the battlefield) in barracks or tents adjacent to their airfields.

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