The San Joaquin Siren: Another Great Pilot Story

The San Joaquin Siren, An American Ace in WWII's CBI

I really enjoy reading aviation books (funny that) and especially (auto)biographies that give me an insight into the experiences of the times, from growing up to learning to fly and then on to surviving various aviation adventures. With that in mind, it was a pretty even bet that I’d probably enjoy reading The San Joaquin Siren, An American Ace in WWII’s CBI by William M Behrns & Kenneth Moore.

Not only did I enjoy the book, I loved it. It starts with a fascinating look into Bill’s life and his experiences learning to fly in the US Army Air Corps with speaking tubes & “follow my lead on the controls” methods. From there Bill progresses to more advanced training in faster, more complex machines before eventually attaining his goal of flying the P38 Lightning. Along the way he describes a number of adventures in the air and ground at various military institutions.

After some time flying patrols in the Pacific North, Bill is transferred out to the China/Burma/India theatre with a group of other pilots from around the USA who stand up a new squadron. The descriptions of the journey to the front line, conditions in India and the environment they find themselves in give a fantastic view of attempting to conduct a war in very challenging conditions.

The rest of the book covers Bill’s combat missions in the theatre, his rec-leave in India and his final return to the USA. We’re again treated to some amazing experiences and lessons that can be learned even by pilots in peace time personal flying.

A well written book that engages the reader & keeps things moving at just the right pace. A couple of minor typos were found in the eBook version I read but not enough to distract me from enjoying the story. The inclusion of a few photos helped round out the descriptions of aircraft, people & circumstances.

I definitely recommend reading this book.

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One Response to The San Joaquin Siren: Another Great Pilot Story

  1. Pingback: McBlog » Been doing a spot of reading :)

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