Memoir of C-47 Pilot Maj. Earnest C. Ford 6th TCS

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Edward
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Memoir of C-47 Pilot Maj. Earnest C. Ford 6th TCS

Post by Edward » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:20 am

My New Guinea Diary

Back cover promotional copy

None of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron (6th TCS) pilots knew where they were when they landed in New Guinea on 13 October 1942, with their thirteen, unarmed C-47 aircraft. After parking their planes, the pilots were told, "If you survive after getting shot down, look out for sharks, be aware of alligators when crossing rivers, and yes, there are still many cannibals in New Guinea--if they catch you, they'll eat you. Don't forget the headhunters. If the Japs don't find you, the mosquitos certainly will. You'll have no radio or map--you'll be on your own. Good luck. Now get your trenches dug quickly, we'll be under a full-scale bombing attack in less than two hours."

The dedication of the 6th TCS, the most highly decorated air transport squadron in World War II, was crucial to the success of Allied efforts to stem the tide of Japanese aggression. Just five miles from enemy lines, with snipers in the traffic pattern, their daily mission was to fly over some of the most challenging terrain on earth while evading Japanese Zeros. The 6th TCS had no maps, charts, radios, roads, fire power, and, at times, little or no fighter support.

This "Diary" is a first-hand testimony from the man who was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses and flew 385 combat missions in two wars--the most in any U.S. military career prior to the Vietnam Conflict. Major Ernest C. Ford writes this blow-by-blow account with compelling detail of what it was like to be under constant attack with no way to fight back. His story is laced with reflective commentary on how his faith kept him going while pondering his favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:30, "...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles"

Includes 81 rare photos taken by the author, five maps, and eight charts, tables, and documents.

About Staff Sergeant Pilot Ernest C. Ford
Ford was trained at Luke Air Force Base as a fighter pilot. However, his instinctive and "hot-shot" flying skills, when applied in a C-47, destined him for special assignment to fly under the most impossible conditions--in the Owen Stanley Mountains. Ford was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses and flew 385 combat missions in two wars--the most in any U.S. military career prior to the Vietnam Conflict. He racked-up 1,244 combat hours in New Guinea alone, was nominated for a Silver Star, was named "Veteran of the Year" in 2005, received two Air Medals with Oak Leaf Cluster, and was promoted in a Battle Field Commission. Military and stateside journals and magazines interviewed and wrote about him. Finally, the US Military had him fly around the world, showing the flag and raising money through sales of War Bonds. He was the first to fly combat in the Korean Theater in 1950. Eventually he was promoted to Major in the US Air Force. Upon retiring, he had amassed over 10,000 flying hours as an Air Force pilot. (See "About the Author" for a more complete biography)

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Andy in West Oz
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Re: Memoir of C-47 Pilot Maj. Earnest C. Ford 6th TCS

Post by Andy in West Oz » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:39 am

I'm reviewing this book for ABR shortly. A bit different to my usual RAF and Commonwealth titles but it'll be interesting to read about the author's ops supplying the Australian units.
Andy Wright
Aircrew Book Review
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library - Jorge Luis Borges

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