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2001 Closed threads from 2001 (read only)

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Old 20 May 2001, 04:10 AM   #1
John G
Posts: n/a

Barrett (Or other helpful forumites),
I wrote a review of your Hellcat book for Amazon and the son of a WW II Navy Ace has written me for information on his Dad. I just loaned a friend almost all my WW II naval aviation books and don't have a copy of Hellcat or Wildcat to check on things. Can you help ? Any info for this gentleman would be appreciated.
Here is his letter.

I read your review on of the book Hellcat Aces of World War II :
Aircraft of the Aces 10. Is there any mention of a pilot named Charles
Shields or "Windy" Shields? He is my father and he was an ace. I was young
when he died and would like to learn more about his experiences in WWII.


Charles Shields, Jr.


I know this isn't WW I related - but thought we could help out the son of an American hero.
Old 20 May 2001, 08:38 AM   #2
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Hey John: Thanks for filling me in. I'm now in touch w/Windy Shields' son and am happy to be able to help him. He was 18 when his father died and didn't know much about his dad's WW II service. I could provide a bit of info but mainly referred him to a VF-4 squadronmate who made two deployments w/his dad.
You know, it's interesting to observe the change that's occurred in the sons & daughters of so many wartime aviators and other veterans over the past 10-15 years. Many of the kids didn't pay much attention ("Dad was always an ace--big deal.") until they had children of their own, then realized there could be a generational gap. That in turn got veterans writing their memoirs for the grandkids, and then the vets' children began learning more and asking questions. It even applied to 2nd and 3rd generation fliers, who tended to be "air force brats." Now one of THE best sites is, maintained by Bud's son Jim who was an F-4 and F-5 pilot and knows just about everything about the 357th Fighter Group. He keeps me busy transcribing documents & interviews, and I'm delighted to help.
Incidentally, Bud is now 79 and still flying '51s fairly regularly, often w/Yeager.
You will not rise to the occasion: You will default to your level of training.
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Old 20 May 2001, 09:35 AM   #3
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Last year I worked with a woman who's father had flown Catalinas in The Big One. She never really paid much attention to that fact until I gave her some info on what that job meant, and found a couple of sites related to PBY veterans. It made a difference in how she saw her father. (I also lent her my copy of Bob Greene's "Duty". It was a real eye-opener.)
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
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barrett, help

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