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Hostile SkiesHostile Skies

A Combat History of the American Air Service in World War I

James J. Hudson

Narrated by Ernest G. Sprance

Available from Audible

Book published by Syracuse University Press

From April to November 1918, the American Air Service grew from a poorly equipped, unorganized branch of the U.S. Expeditionary Forces to a fighting unit equal to its opponent in every way. Hostile Skies details the actual battle experiences of the men and boys who made up the service squadrons at the front — Raoul Lufbery, Elliot Springs, Fiorello La Guardia, and, of course, Eddie Rickenbacker. In addition, several chapters are devoted to the background problems of the infant U.S. air arm, its training, and organization.

Combining a straightforward historical exposition with a colorfully written narrative based on eyewitness accounts, James J. Hudson draws on information from his research in the National Archives, USAF Historical Division Archives, unit histories, and reports enhanced by his personal correspondence with many of the survivors of the "war to end wars." This book will be read by all who are interested in this little documented aspect of the Great War.

James J. Hudson enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, and was stationed at various bases, including North Africa and Italy while participating in the Sicilian, Naples-Foggia, and Southern France campaigns. His aerial combat experience as a fighter pilot included 191 missions in P-39, P-38, and P-47 aircraft.


“The single best treatment of the American Air Service in World War I.”

America and World War I

“A factual and authentic account of America's participation in World War I aerial combat... Hudson is the first professional with sufficient courage to attempt to meet the challenge... This book is a delight to read.”

Air University Review

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University Press Audiobooks
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University Press Audiobooks