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Warbird Recovery

Warbird Recovery Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Title Warbird Recovery
Author Gordon R. Page Publisher iUniverse Inc
Published 2005 ISBN 0-595-35478-5
Format 200 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Some of you will recall the interesting plaque that we reviewed back in February 2005. That plaque had a piece of a Bf 109 that was recovered from Northern Russia and commemorates the restoration project currently underway. Behind that plaque has to be an interesting story - here is your opportunity to re-live the recovery!

Author Gordon Page didn't write this piece from a distant 'reconstructed' point of view - he was there and this aircraft recovery project is his baby. If you remember the heartbreaking story of that team that went into the ice to recover and restore that B-29 that was ultimately lost to a fire (that story was aired on the Discovery Channel), you'll remember how well-produced the story was - I was captivated the moment I turned on the program.

Gordon is definitely a good story teller as I found his writing style to be equally captivating and puts the reader right there. The story starts with how his attempts to win a submarine in a Popsicle contest gained him instead a model airplane of the Bf 109. From the time he built that model, he knew he wanted the real thing.

With the fall of the iron curtain, the possibility of buying restorable airframes from within the former Soviet Union was suddenly more achievable. The story goes into the adventures of dealing with the remnants of the Soviet bureaucracy, from bribes to threats, Gordon and his team are finally allowed to seek out their prize and find some amazing aircraft laying about in various states of decay.

Then they find the Bf 109F-4. The story gets even more intriguing as politics and logistics come into play to get this wreckage from its frozen resting place all the way back to Colorado! The story is well-written and I've had to force myself to put the book down several times just to get some sleep.

If you want to read an interesting adventure and perhaps learn a few things about international business in the process (not to mention recovering a rare aircraft in the process), this is definitely worth a read!

My sincere thanks to Spirit of Flight Center for this review sample!