THE YEAR WAS 1940, A TIME when the world was still enthralled with airplanes and the people who flew them. Legendary airmen like Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh and Roscoe Turner were celebrities, like rock stars today. Although only 23 years old at the time, I was working as chief pilot for Queen City Flying Service, a flight training outfit based in Cincinnati. Life could not have been better. George Wedekind, my boss, was hard-nosed but fair. The pay was modest but steady. The ...

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