ANGELS IN THE SKY: How A Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel.
The gripping story of how an all-volunteer air force helped defeat five Arab nations and protect the fledgling Jewish state.
In 1948, only three years after the Holocaust, the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states. The invaders vowed to annihilate the tiny country and its 600,000 settlers. A second Holocaust was in the making.
Outnumbered sixty to one, the Israelis had no allies, no regular army, no air force, no superpower to intercede on their behalf. The United States, Great Britain, and most of Europe enforced a strict embargo on the shipment of arms to the embattled country. In the first few days, the Arab armies overran Israel. The Egyptian air force owned the sky; making continuous air attacks on Israeli cities
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Release Date Oct. 3, 2017
And then came help. From the United States, Canada, Britain, France, South Africa arrived a band of volunteer airmen. Most were World War II veterans―young, idealistic, swaggering, noble, eccentric, courageous beyond measure. Many were Jews, a third were not. Most of them knowingly violated their nations’ embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. They smuggled in Messerschmitt fighters from Czechoslovakia, painting over swastikas with Israeli stars. Defying their own countries’ strict laws, the airmen risked everything―their lives, careers, citizenship―to fight for Israel.
They were a small group, fewer than 150. In the crucible of war they became brothers in a righteous cause. They flew, fought, died, and, against all odds, helped save a new nation. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel’s war of independence stands as one of the most stirring―and untold―war stories of the past century.
464 pages. Includes 8 pages of illustrations.
An average guy who did unbelievable things
with worldwide consequences.
Born: June 27, 1923 Kansas City, MO
Education: University of California, Los Angeles – Law
Military Service: United States Navy Fighter Pilot (USS Wasp) – 1942
Israeli Air Force Fighter Pilot (101 Fighter Squadron) – 1948
Rank: Rav Seren (Chief Military Commander)
Israeli Air Force Highlights
Flint is the only pilot in the history of the Israeli Air Force awarded his rank of Rav Seren 65 years after the fact and presented at the 65th anniversary of the birth of Israel (also Mitchell’s 90th birthday) by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then President Shimon Peres, and Amil Eshel, the head of the Israeli Air Force. The ceremony included a flyover by the plane flown by Flint in the critical Fallujah Pocket mission. In this mission Flint led Flight 35 in the 5-day campaign that bombed the Abdal Nasser-led troops numbering in the hundreds of thousands, eventually causing them to retreat. It changed the course of the war and ensured the birth of Israel held.
- Member of the 101 Fighter Squadron known as “The Angels of Death”
- One of three pilots from the 101 Squadron still living
- The only living person from Flight 35, the squadron assigned the Fallujah Pocket mission
- Flew 27 different types of aircraft
- Only person in aviation history to fly arguably the 4 greatest fighter planes of WWII
- One of a handful of the foreign volunteers that served the duration of the war
- Flew more missions than any pilot in the War of Independence
- One of two known to have earned the “Red Around the Wings” for flying over 50 missions
- One of the 12 original pilots that flew in the first Independence Day parade in Tel Aviv
- An ace of sorts – he has a 100% shoot down average – came into contact with one enemy plane and shot it down
Fellow Pilots & Wingmen
- Ezer Wietzman – Seventh President of Israel elected in 1993
- Rudy Augarten – Israel’s first Ace
- Dany Shapira – Israel’s first astronaut
- Harry Axelrod
- Hovav Mileikowsky – PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s uncle
- Shalom Yoran – became EVP, Israeli Aircraft Industries
- Tev Zimmerman
- David Ben-Gurion – personal friend who tried to convince Mitchell to move to Israel
- Chris Magee – Mitchell’s roommate who became XO to decorated American combat pilot Pappy Boyington
- Milton Rubenfeld – (Pee Wee Herman’s father) was in same squadron
- Vidal Sassoon – ground trooper
- Future Prime Ministers
“Mitchell Flint is a living legend like none other.”
“Meeting the likes of Mitchell Flint
is like meeting George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.”
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