You are in an F4U Corsair, turning toward the carrier and preparing all the controls for a night carrier landing. You are dive-bombing the Japanese battleship Yamato. You are flying in the clouds on instruments -- and they seem to be lying to you. You are in combat and watch your best friend get shot down...
These are just a few of the stories in this book, written by the Corsair pilots who lived to tell the tales. All of these stories are true to the writers' best recollections and reference material, such as pilot logbooks, squadron history, and accident reports.
If you've ever flown a "bent wing" Corsair, you'll find stories here that will bring back memories, and you probably have your own "true tales of trial and terror!"
Or perhaps you're one of the many "wannabees" that were born too late to fly the World War II warbirds, and you'd like to experience some vicarious thrills by reading about those who did.
The stories in this book -- all written by me or former Corsair pilots I personally know -- are bits and pieces of recollections from World War II and the Korean War period, when the Chance-Vought F4U and Goodyear FG Corsairs were considered the premier propeller-driven fighters and attack aircraft. Some Corsair history can be found in APPENDIX B.
Each of these stories is relatively stand-alone, not depending on previous stories, so some facts may be repeated. No particular chronological sequence is used, so you can pick up the book, flip it open and read any "tale" without wondering if you've missed an important earlier fact.
And if you like to read accident reports, there are four of my own (following Chapters 1 and 13), and 19 others in APPENDIX A, all from my Navy fighter squadron (VF-14 Tophatters) in the two years I was with them -- which gives you an idea of how treacherous the Corsair could be!
Then, if you are into electronics or computers and want a break from "Trial and Terror!" you might find some humor in APPENDIX C -- which has nothing whatever to do with Corsairs or flying!
This new 376-page book, by myself and nine other former Corsair pilots, has 43 chapters -- each a separate story of "trial & terror." Some of the stories cover combat in World War II and the Korean "police action." In this 5-1/2" by 8-1/2" book with a full-color cover you'll find 23 Navy accident reports, 20 photos and illustrations, and three appendices.
The first 35 pages of text (Preface, Forward, Chapter 1, and 2 accident reports) can be viewed at http://www.xlibris.com/bentwings.html . "Bent Wings" can be ordered from Amazon.com or Xlibris.com .
Fred "Crash" Blechman
7217 Bernadine Ave.
West Hills, CA 91307
(818)346-7024 9AM-5PM Pacific Time
Reviews & Testimonials:
"The HOOK" -- Summer 1999 Page 58...
Always a good story teller, Blechman makes the exhiliration and occasional times of terror come alive...a worthy read, especially for those who have flown the bird or wish they had.
"Pacific Flyer" -- July 1999, Page A47...
...entertaining collection of Corsair war stories...compilation...other F4U pilots...each acquits himself admirably with anecdotes drawn primarily from their days training to master the mighty Corsair.
"AG-Pilot International" -- August 1999 Page 6...
This is an easy book to read that will put you in the seat of an F4U Corsair. Don't miss this great, and different, World War II factual combat book.
Ray Davids, Private Pilot, Instrument-Rated...
If you have ever fought in a Corsair, flown a Corsair, wrecked a Corsair,fixed a Corsair, launched a Corsair, wanted to fly/fight/fix/launch a Corsair - or own and fly a Corsair now - you'll want to read Fred `Crash' Blechman's book "BENT WINGS". It's an authentic and authoritative series of stories by the men who have fought, flown, and wrecked F4U Corsairs. A great read!
Additional historical references and information: