To Fly and Fight: Memoirs of a Triple Ace
by Col. Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson with Joseph P. Hamelin

" of the children asked what was the worst thing about flying airplanes? 'Losing friends,' I replied without hesitation."

Some lives are simply bigger than others. Some individuals face more challenges, achieve more, and leave larger footprints. On occasion, the biggest of lives are lived by those who report without exaggeration, make themselves the butt of the joke, and give credit to others. Anderson’s life was carved from such a mold. His autobiography is a testament to it.

This is the stirring account of a boy who grows into manhood, serves his country and makes his mark in history. Only age five when Charles Lindberg solos across the Atlantic, Anderson’s fascination with flight becomes a lifelong love affair with flying. In the skies over Europe during World War II, Anderson recounts one aerial dogfight after another with visceral intensity and virtually encyclopedic knowledge of the planes flown, the danger faced, and the pilots and crew who were by his side. His time later as a test pilot and flight operations director are covered extensively, as is his return to winged combat during the Vietnam War. From youth to nonagenarian, Anderson shares the story of a life filled with excitement, accomplishment, love, loss, family, friends, and more.

Hamelin aids in chronicling Anderson’s life. Over two hundred hours of interviews were tape-recorded. Together, the two have put together a narrative that both rings with authenticity and rollicks with self-effacing humor. In fact, some of the most memorable passages are those devoted to alcohol-fueled antics with longtime, legendary friends such as famed flyer Chuck Yeager. A must-read for military buffs and aviation enthusiasts, this is a life story that will also appeal to all those interested in real heroes from the era Tom Brokaw examined in The Greatest Generation.

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