Snow's lifelong fascination with airplanes began in 1910 when, at the age of five, he attended the Harvard Boston Aero Meet. He grew up to pilot more than 140 types of aircraft, from biplanes to jets; logging more than 15,000 hours of flight time; and earning the distinction of being named an "Elder Statesman of Aviation" by the National Aeronautics Association. In his travels, he encountered numerous luminaries, including Bob Hope, and he led the first B-29 bombing raid against Tokyo in World War II. Pilots especially will appreciate the rarity and value of Snow's recollections (originally self-published), as his breadth of aviation experience is truly astounding. In one of the many excerpts from the pilot's log that forms the basis of his narrative, Snow records taking an attractive young social worker over Boston to drop leaflets from the cockpit. The passenger was Amelia Earhart. Elsewhere, a mysterious entry is explained as being evidence of an odd and ultimately aborted arrangement with the Soviet dictator Stalin. Writing with style and flair, Snow imparts the spirit of derring-do that infected early aviators, inspiring them to the feats that the general public now reaps the benefits of and largely takes for granted. But what will truly make hearts sputter with excitement is the marvelous collection of photos. Here, the men are dashing and the women glamorous, and Snow, at one point pictured in his family's front yard, disabled from a knee wound, and coolly practicing target shooting while smoking a pipe, is as romantic a figure as ever emerged from a cockpit.
About Crocker Snow
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Published January 31, 1998
Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, War, Professional & Technical.