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About this title:
by Dan Heaton
Forgotten Aviator: The Byron Q. Jones Story, by Dan Heaton
Print-Book ISBN 9780828324526 $18.95
E-Book 9780828324533 $9.99
Faced with the challenge of creating an Air Force essentially from scratch, with the nation already in a declared war--U.S. Army leaders were in a scramble. It was the spring of 1917 and the entire U.S. Army had only about 100,000 active-duty soldiers, compared to about 4 million then in uniform for Germany, the largest of the World War I Central Powers. Quality military leaders and men who could teach combat skills to the thousands then being inducted were in high demand. It would be against this backdrop that Lt. Byron Quinby Jones--a stunt pilot who had been kicked out of West Point--who would make his mark. He would go on to wear his nationís uniform for more than 30 years.
Now mostly forgotten by history, Jones helped to create one of the nationís first and most-prolific training sites for budding military airmen, setting up shop at a muddy airfield created by an early automobile magnate near Detroit: Selfridge Field. In addition to his skills as a stunt pilot--he was the first U.S. pilot to deliberately fly a loop and live to tell about it--Jones was the pilot of the first American aircraft to ever come under enemy fire.
His combat experience, limited as it was, his groundbreaking performance flying both acrobatics and endurance flights and his can-do attitude made him a perfect choice to create one of Americaís first military flying schools.
More than 20 years later, as a Second World War was raging, Jonesí name would enter the history books again. Then, the race was on to create a utility vehicle that would eventually become one of the greatest icons of the U.S. military. It would be Jones, who would sign his name on the dotted line and cause the Jeep to come into being.
He was Byron Q. Jones. This is his story.
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