Introduction to my latest read “Winged Warfare” by Lt. Col. William A. Bishop

As the previous title mentioned I am reading “Winged Warfare”. It is an autobiography and first hand account of a young officers experience in WW1 as an airborne intelligence collector and later, a fighter ace. I selected this book because it is everything that I know I like. It has airplanes, is nonfiction, and takes place during a time of large historical significance. In the first page the subject and author of the book is introduced. We first meet William Bishop where he started his career in the infantry. Already it is clear to see his a very ambitious and open person. His reason for transferring out of the infantry and into the air service is as entertaining and funny as it is petty. In short he hated the mud and the rain on the ground. He fantasized about soaring above all the mud and the rain in an aircraft. After having the ability to transfer out of the army he did. So far Col. Bishop seems like a very uptight person as well. This at times seems to conflict his ambition. For instance already in his training he has had to balance his eagerness to fly with his procedural and preparedness to fly. Planes in this day were not only extremely difficult to fly at this time but also very unforgiving of mistakes. His eagerness to fly resulted in him nearly crashing during his first solo landing due to the fact he wasn’t yet ready to solo in the first place. His uptight tendencies also resulted in a problem for him because he slowed down his night flying qualification more than he should have by obsessing over details. Already in the book I believe this will be a struggle for him especially during wartime. Wartime has a way of rewarding impulsiveness and risk taking as well as harshly punishing it. Similarly, wartime also has a way of rewarding those who pay attention to detail and follow orders. With lives at stake I am very excited to see how Col. Bishop deals with this inner conflict and finds the perfect balance.

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