Recently published is “Lord Have Mercy” by World War II veteran Gilbert Burns, a compilation of his diary accounts as an dive bomber pilot, beginning in his early years as hes drafted for the war, to his basic training and flight training, and through his over 100 combat missions overseas.
As he was growing up, Burns and his comrades aspired to be like men such as Billy Bishop, Eddie Rickenbacker and Richtofen. So when news came of his impending draft for the war, he decided to enlist for the Air Corps to be a pilot, despite being an acrophobe — becoming dizzy at simple heights — and never being in a plane before. After basic training and flight training in the U.S. and England, his combat missions began in Paris flying a P-47 Thunderbolt.
While Burns’ diary depicts his maturation from a boy to man, all by the age of 23, readers get a detailed glimpse of what all World War II combat pilots endured. The book includes photos, postcards and other official documents.