The Col.'s "non-diving" bomber described in Chapter 12
From Major General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Jr. [on AMAZON.COM books]
I am fascinated by many of the very frank and unvarnished comments made by J. R. Haun in this published work. These comments get to the bottom of "what really happened" in a hurry! As the son of the Commander of Ninth Air Force during WWII, I was able to connect Haun's comments with what I was told as a teenager after my father's return from Europe in 1945. Having thus been able to confirm the author's credibility, I devoured this most interesting and unusual story. A Gem and a Keeper!
From Bill Broomhall, Dayton, Ohio:
Col. Haun: Sir, I just finished reading your great book Old, Bold, Pilots [now Spitfire Wingman]. I have read many war story books but yours is the greatest I laid my hands on...Thank you for a most interesting book. Best Regards, Bill
From Jim L. Delaney, Lebanon, Tennessee:
Dear Jim: John Fertig let me have his copy of your autobiography; it's all I knew it would be once you got around to it. It has handed me a lotta laughs and much enjoyment. In the tradition of LeMay and Yeager, if a commander turned out to be a son-of-a-bitch, you said so. BRAVO! [When I was with] the Office of Air Force History, I interviewed so-o-o-o many top echelon retirees who insisted on bronzing everybody...I can relate to practically every chapter. Keep on pressing-on.
From Dave E. Eberhardt, Cupertino, California:
Dear Col. Haun: To begin, I wish to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your autobiography. It was one of those books that kept my attention from beginning to end. Makes me think I should have pursued the flying end of aviation instead of my 4 years as an A & E mechanic with your old 1254th. Again, thanks for a good story! CHEERS, Dave E. (As you wrote in your book - "PRESS ON")
From Tom Hartley, Warren, Ohio (1999):
Dear Col. Haun: I'm a friend of Jerry Kirby. I once owned the "Swift" that he now has (when it was a baby!). Last week he sent me a copy of your autobiography. I don't know when I've enjoyed a book as much as this one! Parts of it are like my own life...I'm 77 and I see you're 87 -- so live it up, Jim -- I wish I could have served with you. Sincerely, Tom Hartley
From Rod Wrakley, [no address]:
Dear Col. Haun: I have just finished reading your autobiography. I wanted to thank you for the memories. I have been flying for about ten years now and dream of flying the planes you have flown...It sounds like you had an exciting career. I would love to fly an old pre-war biplane. The beautiful lines of the fabric birds combined with the sounds of the "round" engines brings to life the dreams of days gone by. Maybe one day I will get to meet you at an air show somewhere. Respectfully, Rod W.
From John E. Florence, Orlando, Florida:
To Jim Haun, the best pilot I ever knew. Sure would like to be there for your Birthday celebration, but don't think I can make it. The following weekend is the 12th Squadron reunion at Colorado Springs. There aren't many of us left who were at Godman Field...God bless. Affectionately, Johnny
From David and Betty Gray, Exumas, Bahamas
[written from the sailing yacht Bonus] Dear Jim, We are sitting in a harbor at Lee Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas. [Back in Georgetown] I thought of the Patrick O'Brian books as I looked at the 100 or so boats there. Mostly we've been in anchorage with zero to a few other boats. The water is clear as vodka and the colors glorious... We continue to tell people "Jim Haun stories." We've met quite a few pilots become sailors and they all envy us our good fortune in having you as our teacher and friend. Love, Betty and David
"Yes, Virginia, you can fly the C-54 solo."
Jimmy Haun, Jr.