High Adventure A Narrative of Air Fighting in France
Date: January 2011
Duration: 4 hours 52 minutes
High Adventure A Narrative of Air Fighting in France by James Norman Hall; you will find this book although an exciting narrative has an unpolished feel because it was published in June of 1918 while Mr. Hall was a captive in a German POW camp. When he was captured behind enemy lines, the book was still a work in progress. The Armistice would not be reached until November of that year.
Although he does not mention it in this book, Mr. Hall had already served the better part of 15 months with the British Expeditionary Forces, surviving the battle of Loos in Sept – Oct 1915, and upon which his excellent work “Kitchener’s” Mob is Based.
The US did not enter the war until April 1917, and Hall had already served nearly three years as an American with British and French forces, as a machine gunner with the British, and as a pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille.
Pilot training in the French Air Corps was primarily a matter of survival. Visualize if you will, a class of “Penguins”, aircraft with wings too short for flight scurrying about the airfield as student pilots learn to control these machines with no instructor on board, and for that matter in Mr. Halls case there was never an instructor on board. Their solo flight was their first flight. They learned by doing.
The sheer joy and wonder of man’s early experience of leaving the bounds of Earth in an aircraft coupled with the danger and excitement of air combat made “High Adventure” such a good read, I completed the narration ahead of schedule, because I couldn’t put it down.