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Publisher's Summary

When Bob Goebel left home to join the Army Air Corps in 1942, he was 19 years old and a high school graduate. Cadet Goebel worked his way steadily through Basic, Primary, and Advanced phases of military flight training, and found in himself an aptitude for flight. After graduation from flight school, with his new wings and new commission as a 2d Lieutenant, he and his classmates were posted to a fighter squadron defending the Panama Canal. By the spring of 1944 he was on his way to Italy and the 31st Fighter Group, one of the top fighter outfits of the war. He was also headed for a new aircraft, the legendary P-51 Mustang. After 61 combat missions now Captain Goebel was officially credited with 11 victories in his Mustang. Returning home in September 1944, he was not yet 21 years old. 

Goebel's memoir is a classic of combat aviation, giving the listener a true sense of what it was like to fly and fight as a World War II fighter pilot. It covers stories about the often overlooked 12th AF in Italy, and tales of flying the classic P-51D, America's ultimate piston-engined fighter. 

About the Author: Following the war, Robert J. Goebel attended college on the GI Bill, earning a degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin. Returning to the air force, he served on active duty for almost 30 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1966 after working on the Gemini launch vehicle for NASA. He then worked in the aerospace industry, including on the Skylab project. The author died in February, 2012, just days short of his 88th birthday. He was preceded into the unknown, in 2006, by his wife, June.

©1991 Gary M. Goebel (P)2016 Gary M. Goebel

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What listeners say about Mustang Ace: Memoirs of a P-51 Fighter Pilot

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Another great autobiography of a WWII pilot

Read by the author's son, the narration was done this way to try and capture the way the author sounded. The stories are wonderful and give one a strong sense of going through flight training and combat. As experience builds up, the author becomes a better pilot and fighter, making clear the vast difference between the new and old pilots. Similar to "A Thousand Shall Fall," one of the best WWII pilot books. "The Wrong Stuff" is another excellent WWII pilot autobiography.

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Detailed account

Excellent story and account of a young man’s fighter pilot experience in WWII over Africa and Eastern Europe. This was excellent coverage of the war against Germany originating mostly from southern Italy. He did a very thorough job, even discussing cockpit switchology, fuel management, combat aeronautics, and bomber escort tactics. It contains very detailed accounts of many of his missions and aerial victories. The descriptions of the Mustang’s performance vice the enemy’s were impressive. I have read dozens of WWII books but the ones about the European war seldom mentioned much about this part of the war so I was very interested and pleased to learn this information; it didn’t include much of the heavy bombers’ results of missions he escorted since that wasn’t their mission to report.

The author joined the cadet program shortly out of high school so he was a very young pilot and became a very experienced one. One of his sons narrated and did a good job except for a few mispronunciations. Great “read”.

Highly recommend.

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How refreshing to have an audiobook exceed expectations.

This is one of the very best personal accounts of fighter combat in WWII I have had the pleasure to listen to. I am also a military aviator, not a fighter pilot not Air Force pilot but well versed enough to know when stories ring true. And that is the essence of this book, the understated midwestern genuineness is real. One can even forgive the rather flat narration when taken in this context, it may even be an enhancement adding to the authenticity.

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Riveting Narrative of WW2 Combat Aviation

For those interested in the true to life stories of an aviator going from rookie to Ace, this is the book for you.

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  • MK
  • 02-25-21

Wonderful insight as what it was to be a Mustang Ace

Met Mr. Goebel at an air show many years ago. We talked a lot about his time in the war and having family from Wisconsin we connected immediately. This book is exciting to listen to and brought back the conversations we had in the past. The book is riveting and puts the listener in the mind of a heroic WWII fighter pilot and also detailed what a wonderful man Mr. Goebel was. Finished the book in two days as I couldn’t stop listening waiting to here about the next mission. I know Mr. Goebel has passed , but may God bless his soul and every American should be thankful for all the men and women who served in the armed forces and sacrificed so much for our freedoms we enjoy today. WONDERFUL BOOK!!!!!

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Great

my grandfather was a world war II veteran. I have always loved to hear the stories about the experiences. hopefully stories like this aren't lost with time

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excellent

go for it if your on the fence excellent book. I will listen again for sure!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-21

Amazing

Interesting and exciting from start to finish, very good details and descriptions from a true ace

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  • Ian B.
  • 11-24-20

A most wonderful listen

I've read many books regarding WW2 pilots and this one ranks above the best. An excellent account of a true hero's career. So nice to have the authors son reading the book too. Made it even more special.

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  • Hamish
  • 02-16-20

A must for WW2 Fighter buffs.

A superb recounting of a Mustang Pilots Pilot's WW2 experiences. Well written and well read.

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