Originally published as "A Virginian in Best Blue," this new more complete account is signed by the author's sons on the Title Page.— From Staff Picks
In a voice both timeless and distinctly greatest generational, Parke F. Smith writes about being the last US pilot accepted into the ranks of the RAF via their training exchange program at War Eagle Field, Los Angeles. After completing their course, he sailed to England on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth, swore allegiance to the King, and was offered a coveted spot training as a fighter pilot. From 1942 to 1946, Smith flew 129 missions in North Africa, Italy, and over the North Sea, before returning home. Amazingly, blessedly, he made it home, unlike so many of his friends and comrades. It is to them he dedicated his writing.
Smith's war stories are only the half of it. Smith is skilled at conveying the human connection and camaraderie that forms in war's trenches and skies. He has a way of revealing enduring universal truths through anecdotes made even more humorous from his perspective as a total outsider. Ultimately, Smith's is a story about finding home-no matter how foreign-and fighting for it with all you've got.
Not only did Smith love the Spitfire aircraft, his true gift was how he lived his life: fiercely determined and passionate, a real spitfire.