History Read-Along: Gunner’s Run, Chapters 29-31

It’s the final installment of our weekly read-along through the historical fiction novel Gunner’s Run by Rick Barry. Give us a vote in the comments if you prefer nonfiction or historical fiction read-alongs, and we’ll take your opinions into consideration as we plan for 2019!

We’re aware this post is one week overdue and send our apologies. Let’s just say, we hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours and when a loved one is home on military leave – that’s simply the most important. We’re aiming to get back on schedule and stay on schedule through the rest of the holiday season.

Even though this is the ending of the book, there are no major spoilers – just some historical details and facts from World War II.

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History Read Along – Inferno: The World at War, Chapters 19-20

Hey, readers – can you believe how far we’ve come in this giant book? I’m learning on every page. Are you?

Here are the notes for Chapters 19 and 20 in Max Hasting’s one volume history of World War II. Just as a reminder – although you’ve probably got this figured out by now – the book is for a mature audience, but chapter notes here on the blog are family-friendly.

Today, we’re talking about the bombing campaigns in Europe and the atrocities of the war… Continue reading

6 Things To Know About Air Force One

I grew up with brothers who were crazy about airplanes. I was (still am) crazy about history, so by default, I’ve learned to love aspects of aviation history. This month we’re talking about Presidential Trivia, and I thought it might be fun to round up some facts about the planes that have transported U.S. Presidents – aircraft commonly called “Air Force One.”

From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency and onward, U.S. Presidents have used aircraft to travel domestically and internationally. Here are six historical things to know about presidents and aviation history: Continue reading

10 Things You Should Know About America’s First Combat Pilots

On the Fourth of July 1917, American troops marched through Paris, cheered by the French who enthusiastically welcomed a new ally. After years on the sidelines, the United States joined World War I and sent its volunteers toward the trenches on the Western Front.

However, the U.S. soldiers with General Pershing who marched through Paris weren’t the first Americans to fight in World War I. Long before the United States entered the conflict, American citizens volunteered to fight alongside the French and British; many lived in Europe and took an interest in the conflict, others journeyed across the Atlantic from their neutral country to enlist with the Allies.

Some of the most famous Americans to volunteer with the French were pilots – dare-devil stuntmen who wanted adventure and were friendly toward the allied cause. Since America was neutral, many joined the French Foreign Legion. Some future pilots served as infantrymen in the trenches before transferring to “flight training.” Eventually, a number of American pilots were allowed to fly together and form their own squadron – technically a French air-squadron, but flown by Americans. They become known as the Lafayette Escadrille.

American pilots during World War I were the first combat pilots in U.S. history. Many began their flying adventures long before the U.S. entered the war. Today’s blog post explores some fascinating details about the Lafayette Escadrille and their role in aviation history.

Here are 10 facts you should know about this unique unit: Continue reading