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Warbirds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator - Essay Example

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War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator, is about the life of John McGavock Grider an Mississippi County native and Veteran. Grider was born on 18th May 1892 in Sans Souci, Arkansas. The most interesting part of the life of Grider is during his service in the military, between the years 1914-1918…
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Warbirds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator
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Download file to see previous pages He never completed his high school studies. Instead, he left school and ventured into business, and at the age of sixteen, he got married to Marguerite Samuels. This was on 29th March, 1909. The two went to live in a plantation that Grider had inherited from his mother where they raised their two children. Here, they engaged in extensive cotton production and this continued until 1917, the year that the United States entered the world war. As a member of the Flying Corps, Grider was among the valiant Americans who were called upon to make a great sacrifice for the nation during the World War. Grider was among the first to enlist for the aviation service after which he joined the US aviation service and went for instructions at Champaign (Ill) flying field. Grider and two other Americans, also his best friends, Elliot White Springs and Lawrence Calahan called themselves the three musketeers. Elliot was from Lancaster, South Carolina while Calahan was from Chicago. The three begun their aviation careers with six months of tedious ground school in New York, Chicago, and even in Oxford England before they became graduate pilots2. On 1st October, 1917, Grider was sent overseas where his deep patriotism, pride and enthusiasm were awakened when he heard the British band playing his national anthem and saw the salutation given by foreigners to the flag of his own country. The thrills Grider experienced are reflected in some prophetic words in his diary. In this diary, Grider commended, “I tell you there is some pleasure in losing one's life like this. I would not give it up for a hundred years of peace at home.”3 On his arrival in England, Grider and his two friends were transferred to Eighty-fifth Squadron belonging to the Royal Flying Corps that was under the command of Colonel Bishop. At this time, Bishop was commander-in-chief of the British air forces. Here, Grider managed to get a first lieutenant's commission and remained in service for year in London. During this time, he undertook intensive training after which, Grider and other men from the Eighty-fifth Squadron were commissioned to France to do special work. In this company of dare devils, only Grider and two other men were American aviators, the others were British combat aviators. The selection of Grider was an indication of the kind of man and soldier he was. Colonel Bishop liked the three young American men and later described them, as men of unqualified bravery, unquestioned ability and great daring. This was contained in his lecture on air service that he delivered when he visited America. To crown it all, Grider was selected by Colonel Bishop to command the commissioned group. Grider was very fascinated about his careers and felt much glory because of the opportunity given to him to serve as indicated by his correspondence/his prophetic words. During his fighting, Grider displayed the principles he received from Memphis University School and in his squadron, he was one of the best-liked men. During the mission, Grider was always cheerful and found pleasure in gong to hunt the Germans. During this time, he had several fights with them and with the assistance of two or three pilots, he succeeded in bringing down many enemy machines. For a time after arriving in France, colonel Bishop used warn the team of aviators that they were not supposed to fly over the lines of the enemy without specific orders. However, Grider ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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