Diary of a Pilot, Above and Beyond
by Lloyd D. Knight
URLink Print and Media

"Like many veterans of many wars, I have seldom told of my combat/overseas experiences and encounters."

Retired aviator Knight has arrayed a memoir that reaches across the years and around the globe. He entered the Royal Australian Air Force at age twenty, participating in two wars and flying commercial planes as well. His assignments included acting as a fighter pilot in the Korean War and, later, as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. As his flight hours and often harrowing experiences proliferate, he remembers those back home.

His saga opens with an “Ode to Bonnie”, his second wife. He divides his memories into eight “Missions.” In “’Nam Notes,” he recounts the compassion of an Australian military policeman whom he transported along with two Viet Cong prisoners, one of whom was so frightened that the officer held him in his arms, making Knight “very proud to be an Aussie.” “The Whiskey Flask” in the pocket of Knight’s co-pilot nearly caused a fatal crash. In an emergency beach landing, he nearly lost an eyelid. A serendipitous winning streak, “Shooting Craps,” occurred while on a courier mission, and serious panic ensued when the door of an aircraft flew open. The last “Mission” comprises his later years with Bonnie as she suffers from aphasia, needing constant care.

Whether detailing the minute technical information involved in piloting various aircraft over a lengthy career, or recalling the time spent nursing and comforting his wife, Knight writes with a powerful blend of direct knowledge and deep-seated feeling. Knight’s book will engage a wide readership. The flying exploits will fascinate those who have participated or wish to participate in such adventures, each accompanied by a suggestion for readers to study the extensive glossary provided. Equally, those who have a loved one wrapped in the challenges of aphasia or similar ailments will appreciate Knight’s organized yet gentle advice, concluding with the sage statement, “Caring is sharing.”

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