Item# ISBN: 978-0-8059-9783-5

by Jim Ellis

In this semi-autobiographical account of a USAF fighter pilot, eight-year-old Hubert watches his dirt-poor sharecropper parents pick cotton in Depression-era western Alabama. To escape the cotton fields, he joins the United States Air Force in 1950 and is accepted to flight-training school even though he has only a high-school education.

In the Korean Conflict, he shoots down his first MIG. His combat tour in Southeast Asia results in two more MIG kills, but he is shot down over North Vietnam on his sixty-eighth mission and spends seven years as a “guest” of the North Vietnamese at the notorious “Hanoi Hilton.” Repatriated in 1972, he retires from the USAF in 1976 as a full colonel, and twenty years later, the sharecroppers’ son turns millionaire.

This is the author’s story, mixed with a bit of fiction, with all its twists and turns. But the final twist is the best - living to tell about it!


Jim Ellis grew up in Alabama during the Great Depression, the son of dirt-poor sharecropper parents, and managed to become a USAF officer and fighter pilot with only a high-school education. In 1961, he attended the USAF Fighter Weapons School—the forerunner of the Navy Top Gun School at San Diego—and graduated with honors.

Jim retired in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel with over 4,500 hours of single-engine jet fighter time. He spent the next twenty-five years in Sumter County, Alabama, quail hunting and bass fishing. He moved to Sequim, Washington, in 1997, where he enjoys the mild and dry weather of the Olympic Peninsula.

(2005, paperback, 233 pages)

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AJO 2 [E-book edition]
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ISBN: 978-0-8059-9783-5 [E-book]
Reader Review
"Jim Ellis came a long way—from the son of poor Alabama sharecroppers during the Great Depression to an Air Force officer and fighter pilot. He uses his real-life experiences as the backbone of his new book…The story is a tightly-written narrative that follows Ellis through a childhood of picking cotton, bass fishing and hunting quail through Air Force training to flying fighter jets in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Ellis writes in an engaging style, using descriptive language…the sheer joy he experiences while flying clearly comes through, whether he’s flying lead or off the wing of a good fighter pilot. Ellis obviously loves to fly."

-- Sequim Gazette, Leif Nesheim, 12/21/05

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