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Hump Pilot: Defying Death Flying the Himalayas During World War II Review by Amanda Hopkins

Nedda R. Thomas
History Publishing Company

My family loves all things history. They especially love stories that bring the history directly to them in a first-person sort of way. While they know a lot about history, the one thing they had not heard about was the Hump Pilots from World War II. Nedda R. Thomas brings this new bit of information to us in a fun-to-read-and-understand format in, Hump Pilot: Defying Death Flying the Himalayas During World War II.

From the attention-grabbing prologue, all the way through to the informative and thoughtfully written epilogue, you are hooked on the story of Ned Thomas and his adventures of flying “The Hump.” According to Wikipedia: The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces based in China.

In the story, we are taken into Ned’s life and learn the history that lead up to him aiming for becoming a pilot during World War II. We learn all about him, and during the same time we are leaning about him, we are learning about the events happening during the war. We know that a couple of weeks before Ned’s officer-candidacy exam Burma fell. We know that it was during Ned’s second year at Wake Forest College that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. While we follow this man’s journey to one of the hardest, yet least known, jobs of the military, we also follow along with the war itself.

Reading this style of writing; the combination of war narrative mixed with the history of the pilot helped us understand his path that much more. While this book was hard for me to get into, as I am not as much a history buff as the guys in this house, the guys devoured it! Both Daddy and Moe Man loved the style of writing, the story, and most of all the history. This book brought to them something they had never known about before, and in a way that they understood and loved.

If you have a history buff in your house, ask them if they know about The Hump. If they don’t know, you should gift them with this fantastic book! I am glad that I could, and I look forward to having the younger kids read this very soon!

-Product review by Amanda Hopkins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017