Memoirs of a WWII Fighter Pilot and
Some Modern Political Commentary
by Ken Thompson Trafford Publishing

"What we didn't know then that the plan was to win the war by air power."

Ken Thompson is part of America's Greatest Generation. With war on the horizon, he decided to enlist in June 1941. His determination to become a fighter pilot was not deterred when the Navy failed him because of an overbite. With perseverance and a little luck, the Army Air Corps enlisted him and what a career it became! Thompson was thrust into WWII shortly after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. He began training in earnest, not knowing where he would be sent to protect America's precious freedoms. Flying the P-40 Curtis Tomahawk of Flying Tigers fame would serve as preparation for battles in the air.

Assigned to the European theater, Thompson test flew the P-47 Thunderbolt and made life-saving recommendations that made it one of the most reliable planes in WWII. With 96 flights during WWII, there were plenty of "missions of plain old search and destroy." It was those memorable and frightening flights–shootinng down a German ME 109, crashing behind enemy lines, and destroying a marshalling yard in Yugoslavia–that helped earn him the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Thompson's experiences are inspiring for any generation. His memoirs are matter-of-fact and describe the highs and lows of an amazing life. He doesn't seem to think that his actions were extraordinary at all, just a man doing what needed to be done to protect America. At the end, he offers his thoughts on America's current state of affairs. It's thought-provoking, giving the reader pause to think about what type of America they want to live in when our brave servicemen and woman have sacrificed so much.

Return to USR Home