WWII Pilot with 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses Writes Memoir

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“Veteran of the Year – 2005” Writes a Compelling Account of the New Guinea Campaign

My New Guinea Diary (ISBN: 978-097925839-8, 394 pages, paperback), by Staff Sergeant Pilot Ernest C. Ford, brings the reader into the mind of a young, green pilot who had nothing going for him but guts, a desire to serve his country, and an uncanny instinct for making death-defying, split-second decisions when defeat seemed imminent. Ford’s was the first American squadron to land on the island of Papua New Guinea. Only nineteen years old and having never flown in battle, he was soon (within hours) thoroughly initiated into a world where daily, he and his crew would be the recipients of enemy fire on the ground and in the air, where they were outnumbered by Japanese Zeros by up to 10 to 1. Within the first year, Ford’s squadron suffered a 35% casualty rate—the highest in World War II.

None of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron pilots knew where they were when they landed in New Guinea on 13 October 1942, with their thirteen, unarmed C-47 aircraft. After parking their planes, the pilots were told, “If you survive after getting shot down, look out for sharks, be aware of alligators when crossing rivers, and yes, there are still many cannibals and headhunters in New Guinea—if they catch you, they’ll eat you. You’ll have no radio or map—you’ll be on your own. Good luck. Now get your trenches dug quickly.”

The dedication of the 6th TCS, the most highly decorated air transport squadron in World WarII, was crucial to the success of Allied efforts to stem the tide of Japanese aggression. Just five miles from enemy lines, with snipers in the traffic pattern, their daily mission was to fly over some of the most challenging terrain on earth, the Owen Stanley Mountains, while evading Japanese Zeros. The 6th TCS had no maps, radios, roads, fire-power, and, at times, little or no fighter support.

This “Diary” is a first-hand testimony from the man who was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses and flew 385 combat missions in two wars—the most in any U.S. military career prior to the Vietnam Conflict. Major Ernest C. Ford writes this first-hand, blow-by-blow account delivers an overdose of adrenalin-laced battle scenes along with insightful reflections on war, Army-brass, enemies, survival strategy, flying, and faith.

Includes 81 rare photos taken by the author, five maps, and eight charts, tables, and documents.

Copies available at book stores and Amazon.com. More publicity materials, images, and documents available at the publisher’s web site, http://www.PublishersDesign.com/books/NewGuinea, or by calling 916.784.0500. Suggested retail price: $17.95.

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