Book 11


The Gunships







Page Updated
October 10, 2011

Contact: Bill Petrie
CMSgt, USAF, Ret.

Guest Book




A Favorite from
The Book Hootch

Departure Message
by Charles L. Lundsford.

ISBN: 1 58898-380-3
Format: Softcover



Seen on for $16.99

Departure message cover

The book is about flying as an enlisted crew member with a Combat Cargo/freight hauling Troop Carrier unit in a US Air Force that has passed into history. It is also about a profession that has also passed into history --Airborne Radio Operators who flew in a time when most communications were in Morse code. The story is a personal account of Chuck's flying experiences as an Airborne Radio Operator in the Air Force of the 1950s during the Cold War. The everyday life of a flying enlisted man is done in some detail with some humor, some nostalgia, and some stark terror as well. The scope covers everywhere from Greenland to India, and all points in between, and recalls how it was to live like a Gypsy in all those places. Anyone who flew in the USAF from the 30s to the 50s will love this story.

Chuck also did a fascinating job of tracking the old 119s as they morphed into AC-119 gunships. He has devoted chapter 21 to a few of our gunship stories. Thanks for the exposure Chuck.

Charles Lunsford is retired and finally able to spend some time doing his favorite thing–writing. He grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico with lots of famous writers and artists. His first short story. Mr. Marseille, about air traffic control in Morse code, was published in Smithsonian Air and Space in 1994, and made a big hit in the amature radio community. The story was reprinted in the USAF publication Flying Safety. He has three novels and a group of short stories in the works. He now lives in Albuquerque and when he isn't on the golf course or writing, he likes to travel Europe with his lovely wife, Sharon.

If you know of a book that would be appropriate for these pages please let us know.

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