CLOUDS OF WAR: PAST, PRESENT AND ON THE HORIZON
BY DONNA SPITZMILLER:
IMPACT OF WAR ON ONE MAN!
Clouds of War
Author Jerry Burton
Reviewed by Ted Spitzmiller
This unusual biography of William “Bill” Drumm has historical highlights of the 20th-century wars, interspersed with this career Air Force officer’s life. The intent of the author, Jerry Burton, is to reveal how the international stage directly impacted one individual’s career.
Mr. Burton begins with the causes of World War One and the inadequate peace agreement that set the stage for World War Two. It was the inter-war period into which Bill was born in Chicago in 1924. It is interesting to see various aspects of that city’s middle-class environment in the 1930’s in which Bill was raised.
The author follows Bill’s teen years, during which his father lost his job and had to move the family to Indiana and challenging times. We see Bill’s enthusiasm for sports as he makes the best of a difficult economic and social situation.
The rise to power of Hitler, Stalin, and the Japanese Empire, is presented as Jerry Burton sets the stage for the outbreak of World War Two. Bill is inducted into the Army and finds his way into pilot training. Readers not familiar with the process by which the young men of the period went through the various steps of learning to fly will find this interesting.
As noted, at various points, the author will take you through what is happening on the world stage before re-immersing back into Bill’s life. After almost three years of training, Bill finally makes his way to India, where he flies the 4-engine B-24 bomber over “The Hump” (the Himalayan mountains) to ferry tons of gasoline to the bomber bases in China for raids against Japan.
The reader will get some indication of the difficulties involved in this hazardous route as Bill takes us on one of his 24 missions at night and into a thunderstorm. Even the end of the war presented Bill with some exciting challenges as he had to become creative in making his way back to the states through the Middle East and Europe.
Following the war, Bill maintains his military ties and commits to remain in the Air Force.
Along the way, he marries and raises a family of 6 kids while working his way through college and numerous change-of-stations that must have been even more grueling for his wife and the kids.
Bill retired in 1970 after 28 years of service. But he wasn’t quite ready to hang up his wings as he became a pivotal member of the New Mexico Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, flying disaster relief missions in light aircraft.
Bill lost his wife of 68 years when Mary Lou passed away in 2014. He now makes an effort to join some of his younger flying buddies for breakfast each month as he moves towards his 97th birthday in April of 2021.
The last chapter reveals the political conundrum facing the United States today concerning the tensions on the international stage and the possibility of war in the 21st century. The book’s coverage of world history during much of the 20th century would make for a good college text, and the combined life of a typical man of the period provides an interesting backdrop.
BY SUSAN M. MILLER:
WONDERFUL EASY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND!
Wonderful read… the book flowed and was easy to understand and follow. Enjoyed learning about our history. I highly recommend this book!
GREAT STORY TOLD IN AN ENJOYABLE READ!
Excellent history recap leading up to WWII
GET A GRIP ON THE BIBLE: A STUDY GUIDE: GENESIS THROUGH RUTH
BY KRISTIN CHURCH:
GREATEST BOOK FUN REVIEW!
Wonderful book. My men’s group leader wrote this book and I can talk to Jerry about it. It is worth the wait and I am reading the Bible from beginning to end to answer the questions in the book and am glad I am reading the Bible and understand the concepts in the Bible instead of just reading verses.
BY DAWN BROTHERTON:
VERY THOUGHT-PROVOKING; VERY MUCH ENJOYED THIS ONE!
I've done a lot of Bible studies and very much enjoyed this one. Get a Grip on the Bible was very helpful breaking down the key elements of the first eight books of the Bible. The questions are thought-provoking and provide the opportunity for the information to sink in. I especially appreciate the workbook-type format. I look forward to seeing the next study guide by Burton.