Reading this book I am not really sure whether this review should belong in AviationBookReviews because the title does not cover the load entirely. Duke Thomas, the main character in this book, is an “ace” during the First World War and servicing the USAAF with a big passion namely the archaeology of the Middle East and especially the old Egyptian history. He is based in northern France and his main opponents are Manfred von Richthoven (well known) and the German ace Max Wagner who is also an inspired archaeologist and later in the book becoming his biggest enemy.
The author describes Duke’s air and ground fights ( after an emergency landing behind enemy lines, he fights for his life with a German infantry officer). And there really starts the romantic and often fantasy full adventures of our hero. After another heavy crashlanding he is treated in a French hospital and falls in love with a beautiful nurse named Juliette. When returning in his squadron he gets in conflict with his superior and is stationed in the Egyptian desert and added to the British Expeditionary Force.
There he gets the opportunity, besides fighting, to study and explore his big passion Egyptian history and there arouses his conflict with Max Wagner who is also transferred to Egypt. This book contains many pages with air fighting stories (not always very realistic), sexual encounters with his French love and stories of the old Egyptian history peppered with violent confrontations with the local Arabs. At the end he falls in disgrace with his commanding officer and is forced to leave the Army Air Force chased by his Arab enemies who are seeking revenge for killing one of their leaders. Together with his love Juliette he flees England aboard his sailing yacht looking for new adventures.
To be honest it is really an exciting boy’s story always ending with a happy end for our hero. However it is relaxing reading and technically it is all right because the author is an experienced pilot with great interest in the archaeology which shows in the book. Pleasant lecture on vacation but interest in the old history of Egypt makes it more digestible for the reader.