Jerry Koszyk is an amateur aviation researcher who by chance discovered that way back in 1917 the then fledgling Army Air Service had set up an airfield for aeronatical research and development.at Dayton, Ohio, called McCook Field, where commercial, civilian, aerobatic and military aviation merged. He also discovered that no book or other publication about McCook Field had yet been written, so he set himself to the task of filling this gap in U.S. aviation history. Twenty (!) years later his compilation of interviews finally saw the light of life!
For me it’ s not a book to read from beginning to the end but interesting enough to select a name of an appealing person and read the corresponding interview, which are literal transcripts of the recorded conversations by mr. Koszyk. It very much depends on the readers personal appetite which interviews will be to their liking. Just to mention one I chose the interview with James H. Doolittle, who much later in 1942 led the bombing raid on Tokyo from the carrier Hornet. Not so much because of this particular early episode of his aviation career but to satisfy my curiosity about this extraordinary personality. Especially for American readers this book must offer a choice of appealing names.
Being a Dutchman I was attracted in particular to the report about the various Fokker planes which after WW I were tested at McCook Field. In particular the Fokker D 7 which was by far the most outstanding fighter of the WW I air war. This part of mr. Koszyk’s book not only informs about the various tests which were performed on this fighter but gives quite considerable background information about the Fokker aircraft built for the Imperial German Air Force. Most interesting for a one time Fokker employee!
Al in all I consider this book quite a performance by mr. Koszyk. With one or two interviews and a nightcap it provides the perfect end of a day! Also the photographs in this book, although not abundant, provide interesting illustrations of these early days of deploying the wings of U.S. military aviation.