Friday, February 8, 2013
Rated: 4 Stars
While Fred's experiences as a member of the RAF were interesting they were fairly typical of what most flyers of that time went through. What I found particularly interesting about this book was his experiences as a child growing up in a motherless household with a loving Father and brother. His upbringing was without much feminine influence in his life and I think it gave him a rootlessness and recklessness that affected most of the decisions he made as a young man. After he was in the war for a while he grew up pretty quick.
I didn't realize how easy it was at the time for men to cross the border from the US to Canada and to enlist in the Canadian army. I knew it had been done but before I read this book I had not idea it had been so easy. I enjoyed this book.
Growing up on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado, Frederick Libby tamed countless horses, drove cattle, and even roped an antelope. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the Canadian army with the same happy-go-lucky daring and grit with which he approached all things. In France, he became an aviator with the Royal Flying Corp, downing an enemy plane on his first day of battle over the Somme. He went on to become an ace, with 24 victories to his credit, just two less than Captain Eddie Rickenbacher. This is a rare piece of Americana, told in as pure and compelling a voice from the vernacular heart of this country as you will ever hear.