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"War Birds" Topic

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795 hits since 13 Aug 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0113 Aug 2016 12:36 p.m. PST

Of possible interest?

"Following the declaration of war by the United States, more than 200 American men, unwilling to wait until US squadrons could be raised, volunteered to join the Royal Flying Corps in the summer of 1917. Amongst these men was John MacGavock Grider and Elliott White Springs who both joined 85 Squadron to fly SE.5 fighters. During his service with the RFC and the RAF, Grider kept a record of his experiences from when he joined up until his untimely death in 1918, when he was shot down over the Western Front. Before his death, Grider had made a pact with Elliott White Springs that in the event of one of them dying, the other would complete their writings. Springs went on to write this book, an amalgamation of his own recollections and Grider's diary and correspondence. War Birds records in detail the stresses of training and the terror and elation of failure and success during combats with the enemy the First World War. This unique edition of War Birds has been produced from a copy owned by another officer from 85 Squadron, Lieutenant Horace Fulford. In his copy, Fulford made numerous hand-written annotations and stuck in a number of previously unpublished photographs – all of which have been faithfully reproduced"


See here


Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2016 1:47 p.m. PST


This edition is available and less expensive. It is also available as an e-book.


Great War Ace Inactive Member13 Aug 2016 5:00 p.m. PST

Holy crap! Over twenty bucks for the Kindle? What's up with that?

Great War Ace Inactive Member13 Aug 2016 5:07 p.m. PST

I bought the used hardback.

Thanks for the info, you two.

Great War Ace Inactive Member13 Aug 2016 7:26 p.m. PST

YouTube link
A little video in connection with the book. Some good original footage of aircraft, including a quick shot of Albatros scouts being assembled. (I guess Matt Bomer is a draw, but he's inconsequential when compared to original film footage of WW1 aircraft.)

Tango0114 Aug 2016 3:12 p.m. PST

No mention my friend.


By John 5414 Aug 2016 3:44 p.m. PST

Looks very interesting, bought the second-hand paperback.

Thanks, Armand.


Great War Ace Inactive Member06 Sep 2016 7:33 a.m. PST

I'm reading this as my nightstand book, i.e. one to three pages per day until I fall asleep. So far, Springs and Company are just trying to get through training without being killed! Some French officer demanded that, before the Yanks get posted from England, that they do loops and spins in their Curtis trainers. So Springs went up and did c. ten loops and some spins to comply with the "experimental" demands of the French. The very next American to go up in the very same airplane that Springs had used, had the wings come off at the top of his loop and was "killed instantly". Holy crap! The other feature that impresses me the most is the amount of heavy drinking indulged in by virtually everybody. There is more than a skosh of the "Catch-22" atmosphere about John McGavock Grider's diary!

Here is a very interesting page about Grider, Springs, and the early publication of the diary. link

Great War Ace Inactive Member18 Sep 2016 8:06 a.m. PST

Getting near "the end". It is fictional, as far as Grider's diary is concerned. He died in June after c. one month at the front. Elliot White Springs continues the "diary" until just before war's end, using his own experiences as the bulk of the narrative. He keeps Grider anonymous, for which slight Grider's sister evidently sued Springs in 1927 and won $12,500.00 USD link (same as above link in previous post) Subsequent editions of War Birds put Grider as the main author. The exploits and survival details are apparently factual. But one can argue that this is a work of "fiction" and therefore not to be used as a reference in any "serious work". Heh….

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