P-38 Odyssey: Farmboy, Pilot, POW: Wartime Journals and Letters of Richard Butler Compiled and Annotated by his son Dick Butler (Paperback)
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In 1940 Richard Butler and his younger brother Heber enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. In North Africa in 1943 the Butler brothers were assigned to fly the P-38 Lightning, the “fork-tail devil,” feared for its speed, maneuverability and heavy armament. Over southern Italy on Richard’s fiftieth and final combat mission, one of his “kills” disintegrated during a head-on dog fight. Part of the wreckage disabled Richard’s left engine, which soon burst into flame, forcing him to bail out. He was taken captive and spent 21 months as a prisoner of war. During this time, he kept a detailed account of life in Stalag Luft III and Stalag VIIA.
Richard’s journals and letters, reaching from July 1940 to June 1945, are compiled here with annotations and photographs documenting his life as fighter pilot and prisoner of war. The editor’s research adds historical detail and context to this uniquely complete wartime narrative of a profound personal journey of courage and determination.
About the Author
As an Air Force brat, Dick Butler acquired a yen for travel which he has yet to satisfy. He's a retired bookstore owner/manager (Phileas Fogg's Books and Maps for the Traveler, Palo Alto CA and Marco Polo & I: A World of Books, Tucson AZ) and teacher of writing and literature. Dick is addicted to the printed page; an amateur musician passionate for Bach and Chopin; fascinated by the history and archaeology of the Mayan, Incan and ancient Roman empires; and finds artistic expression in gardening and watercolor painting. He has a double major in French and English and an MA in Twentieth Century French Literature. He and his wife Gigi, an engineer, live in Tucson. Their daughter grew up in bookstores and became a medievalist.