July 12, 2013 - Longtime warbird owner and EAA Warbirds of America Squadron Four founder Will Martin will be launching his new book, So I Bought an Air Force (Two Harbors Press, Minneapolis, MN, $16.95), at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Set in 1963, six months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, So I Bought an Air Force is the wild but true tale of how civilian pilot Will Martin buys the Nicaraguan Air Force’s fleet of P-51 Mustangs, P-47 Thunderbolts, and C-45 Expeditors and his determination, despite daunting obstacles, to get his planes back to the U.S.
What Martin believes will be a straightforward business transaction turns into an improbable adventure lasting more than two years, during which Martin survives attempted murder by a CIA mercenary, crash-lands three Mustangs after mysterious engine failures, makes Nicaraguan headlines as a famous Chicago gangster, shares Cokes with General Anastasio Somoza at his compound, and is arrested in Mexico with his wife as a suspect in JFK’s assassination. He earns the nickname “El Gato” among the Nicaraguans for the nine lives they are sure he must have.
With thirty-two pages of stunning photographs from the author’s personal archive, So I Bought an Air Force fills in a little-documented piece of warbird history while giving the reader a vivid look at the rough-and-tumble world of 1960s Latin America from the cockpit of some of the hottest American aircraft ever built.
“The book is a true adventure many can only dream of.” said Rick Siegfried, past president of EAA Warbirds of America.
So I Bought an Air Force will be for sale in the Warbird Store during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com in August. Martin will be available to sign his book after the 10:00 a.m. Warbirds in Review presentation on Wednesday, July 31.