The Friday Pilots

by Jim McDivitt

The "Friday Pilots" are a group of 15-20 retired, former military pilots, who meet for lunch every Friday in Tucson, AZ, sharing laughs and lore (some true). This is a book of first person stories written by 20 of these "old" pilots (including Apollo 9 astronaut, Jim McDivitt), those who flew the old airplanes in the old Air Force. These are personal stories of growing up in a different America, their lives before political correctness, back when airplanes were dangerous, but flying was fun. Each pilot has contributed a chapter to this book.

They were pilots; pilots that flew in the old days; the old airplanes; the early jets. They have been to war. They have crashed and burned. They have run through jungles from the enemy and parachuted into oceans. They have been blown out of the sky, captured, imprisoned and horribly tortured. They have ridden huge rockets into space and orbited the earth. They have run large companies. They have been rich and they have been poor. There are pilots who finished their careers as generals, colonels, lieutenant colonels, majors and even captains. There are fighter pilots and bomber pilots and airline pilots and corporate pilots and astronauts and men who have owned airplane companies and been senior executives of corporations and on boards, and men who have landed gear-down and gear-up. They have landed on Navy carriers. They have been married and they have been divorced. They have had children that are successful, some that were problems and some have lost children.

Their stories are about growing up in a different world at a different time when life was both simpler and harder. The airplanes were dangerous and there were no precision or stand-off weapons. Real men flew to far off places trying to win wars and dove down through AAA and avoided SAM missiles and paid for it mentally, physically and with their lives. Men blasted into space and docked with the Lunar Lander.

Jim McDivitt is giving the proceeds from this book to the Fisher House charity for military families. The Fisher House provides housing near treatment facilities for military families experiencing severe medical problems.

More information is available on The Friday Pilots website .

(except Boris Baird, deceased)

The Friday Pilots




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