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Quentin Roosevelt was the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, a man greatly admired by his colleagues, popular with his fellow World War One fliers, possessed with great ability, flair and intellectual ability. Sadly his life was destined to be brash, brave, brilliant and all too short. On the entry of America in to the First World War in 1917, Quentin dropped out of college to join the newly formed 1st Reverse Aero Squadron. His first services were on the ground at the famous Issoudun training base, but he demanded and received his pilot’s wings transferring into 95th Aero Squadron part of 1st Pursuit Group, the aerial gladiators of the American Airforce. His flying career was not to last long, his contemporary, the famous flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker commented his flying style was bordering on the suicidal with a great contempt for danger;
"He was reckless to such a degree that his commanding officers had to caution him repeatedly about the senselessness of his lack of caution. His bravery was so notorious that we all knew he would either achieve some great spectacular success or be killed in the attempt. Even the pilots in his own flight would beg him to conserve himself and wait for a fair opportunity for a victory. But Quentin would merely laugh away all serious advice."
He claimed his first victory only a day after his squadron was posted to Touquin and the front lines; but he was shot down a mere four days later.
His letters were collected by his brother Kermit, who lovingly and carefully edited into this book which gives a picture of his headstrong, dashing brother poignantly including the many letters of tribute from Quentin’s fellow flyers.
An excellent and vivid excellent snapshot of a young tyro in the American Air Force of the First World War.