Terror of the Autumn Skies

The True Story of Frank Luke, America's Rogue Ace of World War I
Narrated by: John McLain
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Frank Luke, Jr., was an unlikely pilot. In the Great War, when fliers were still "knights of the air", Luke was an ungallant loner, a kid from Arizona who collected tarantulas, shot buzzards, and boxed miners. But during two torrid weeks in September 1918, he was the deadliest man on the Western Front. In only 10 missions, he destroyed 14 heavily defended German balloons and four airplanes, a rampage unequalled even by the dreaded von Richtofen, and the second highest American tally of the entire war. Cocksure and constantly reprimanded, Luke was actually under arrest on the day of his final flight, but he stole a plane to join the fatal action that won him the first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to a pilot.

Blaine Pardoe retraces and refreshes Frank Luke's story through recently discovered correspondence. What emerges is a portrait of a life out of an "Old West" that was, by the late Teens, colliding with modernity. Frantic, short, and splendid, the life of Frank Luke, Jr. dramatizes the tragic intervention of an American spirit in the war that devastated Europe.

©2011 Blaine L. Pardoe (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Terror of the Autumn Skies

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Terror of the Autumn skies

Very well researched, I like all the facts the back ground of Luke's strengths and weaknesses and his single mindedness to finish what he started to do.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good but not totally outstanding

Well researched and well presented. I liked the book and it was worth the cost, but I cannot say it was over the top like some of the books I have listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really good insight

Really great history of Luke... enjoyed it alot.i highly recommend this book to any one.

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    4 out of 5 stars

It's only boastful if you can't do it...

The story of Frank Luke is that of Knights of old, with the adventure of early aviation as the backdrop. Excellently researched and a story brought forward of Luke's lone wolf style and his well noted flaunt to authority. Know as a braggart of sorts, the fact remains that he did exactly the things he said he would do. The narration of John McLain was dry and uninspiring until he quoted a direct quote from a letter, and became more like a character telling a story. Several times I wanted to quit listening and just read the book. The author spent an great amount of effort and time during and in the afterward of the story to make sure the reader, or listener in this case, knew from his perspective that his (the authors) research and work was the most definitive, and should in fact be the only version would could intelligently consider in the life of Frank Luke. Seemed a little boastful to me!