Pappy Gunn: America's Legendary Bomber Pilot by Steve W. Chadde

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Steve W. Chadde
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Pappy Gunn, first published in 1959 as The Saga of Pappy Gunn, recounts the story of one of America's outstanding aviation heroes, Paul "Pappy" Gunn. In December 1941, retired US Navy aviator "Pappy" Gunn was living in Manila with his wife and their four children and was general manager of the young Philippine Airlines. After the Japanese attack on the Philippines, he and his airline were impressed into the US Army Air Corps. On Christmas Day, he flew members of the Far East Air Force staff to Australia. Upon arrival, he was ordered to stay and organize an air transport squadron. However, his family remained behind in the Philippines and were soon captured and interned at Santo Tomas University in Manila. For the next three years, Pappy Gunn, fought tirelessly against the Japanese. After two squadrons of Gunn's modified A-20 and B-25 bombers played an vital role in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, he was assigned to work with engineers in the US Army Air Force and with the manufacturers on how best to incorporate his improvements to the planes' armament. When Allied troops landed at Leyte, Philippines, he served as commander of a special battalion of Air Corps maintenance and engineering personnel setting up the airfield at Tacloban. Gunn, however, was injured by shrapnel from a Japanese phosphorous bomb; he was recovering in a hospital in Brisbane when 1st Cavalry troops liberated Santo Thomas and his family. Following the war, Pappy Gunn was killed in a plane crash while flying in severe weather. His body was returned to the United States and interred at the US Navy cemetery at Pensacola Naval Air Station, where he had spent much of his early career.


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