By Nelson W., Jr. Aldrich,W. Averell Harriman,Richard L. Jackson

Born to wealth, adventuresome in spirit, wise in enterprise, gallant in warfare, and a beau ideal of his type, Tommy Hitchcock was once the epitome of the yankee hero, a legend even in his personal time. To Scott Fitzgerald, Tommy embodied the suitable of the aristocratic guy of motion, basing of his characters loosely on Tommy.

Tommy joined the Lafayette Escadrille in the course of WWI on the age of 17. He used to be shot down, captured by way of the Germans, after which made a dramatic break out to Switzerland. inside of many years after the warfare, he had turn into one of many stars of the “Golden Age of Sport.” within the 20s and 30s, Tommy ruled polo extra decisively than Bobby Jones did golfing or Babe Ruth did baseball.

Settling in long island along with his becoming family members, he turned an funding banker and threw well-known events in nice Neck, big apple, which attracted the wealthy and recognized in addition to celebrities akin to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. regularly impecunious, the Fitzgeralds have been effortless to draw to a lavish get together, yet now not really easy to persuade to depart.

When the United States entered WWII, Tommy re-entered the carrier, yet was once advised he was once “too outdated” for strive against flying. He grew to become the largest booster of the hot P-51, then in improvement, turning into instrumental in convincing the military to construct it to guard Flying Fortresses on their bombing raids over Germany. We have been wasting hundreds of thousands of the heavy bombers to Luftwaffe Messerschmitt’s simply because we didn’t have a fighter which may achieve Germany with the bombers. The P-51 used to be a game-changer. Hermann Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, advised his American interrogators after the struggle that once he observed P-51s flying unopposed within the skies over Berlin, he knew the gig was once up and Germany might lose the conflict.

Tragically, on April 18, 1944, Tommy died test-flying one of many new P-51s in England. he'll without end be an American hero.

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American Hero: The True Story of Tommy Hitchcock--Sports Star, War Hero, and Champion of the War-Winning P-51 Mustang by Nelson W., Jr. Aldrich,W. Averell Harriman,Richard L. Jackson


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