- AFHF Member Authors
An American Pilot in the Skies of France: The Diaries and Letters of an American Pilot, 1917-1918
by David K. Vaughan
An American Pilot in the Skies of France collects the diaries and letters which chronicle the experiences of one young American aviator during the first World War. Percival Gates served as a combat flier in the fledgling United States Air Service from 1917 to 1918. His writings tell the story not of a famous ace, but rather that of an American youth like thousands of others sent to Europe to fight the “war to end all wars.” Gates provides a total picture of the pilot’s life as he describes his experiences both on ground and in the sky. The diaries are particularly telling in Gates’ discussion of his training and the dangers inherent in flying the development aircraft of the era. Together with a fine introduction by editor, David K. Vaughan, these writings constitute a remarkable set of memoirs in which one young man’s experience in the Great War lives on today.