Written in the personable and matter-of-fact voice of someone reflecting honestly on his life’s journey, this autobiography is full of anecdotes of a Depression-era Montana boyhood that culminates with the author’s service as a B-17 pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Conveying both heroic and light-hearted stories, from hunting and fishing in Great Falls to attending college in Los Angeles, from his Army training at camps like Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, to his flight training experiences in San Antonio, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio, the author paints vivid images of his formative experiences and explains what shaped his values, perspectives, and evident pride for his family and his country. His accounting of his 1942 enlistment and all that followed offers an insider’s view of basic training, flight training, Instructor’s School, and the role of a flight instructor.
Knudsen’s frank and detailed descriptions will appeal to anyone seeking a “behind-the-scenes” look at army training as well as an authentic portrayal of a bygone time. The author admirably captures the American values of self-sufficiency and self-improvement in this recounting of a life fully lived.
About the Author
Born in Great Falls, Montana, in 1922, John Knudsen was initially rejected by the navy because of an enlarged heart muscle but managed to enter service with the Army Air Corps. After enduring and succeeding in a grueling series of flight training camps and schools throughout the country, he was sent to the B-17 Bomber Transition School in Columbus, Ohio, and told he was in line to be a first pilot on a B-29 and bomb Japan. By the time he accrued the 250 hours required for the mission, the Japanese had surrendered. Knudsen went on to become a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist, first with the weekly Catholic newspaper Tidings, and later with the San Diego Tribune. A member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists since the 1960s, he has eight children and twelve grandchildren.
OFF I WENT INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER
By John James Knudsen
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
HISTORY / Military / Aviation
HISTORY / Military / World War II
304 pp. 6 x 9
7 photos 3 illus.