From POW to Blue Angel

While the rest of the team flew on to Los Alamitos, Dusty stayed behind to speak
about the Blue Angels to a Navy League meeting at the Fresno Hotel. Also on the
program was Captain John Crommelin, who'd been skipper of the USS Saipan ...

From POW to Blue Angel

From POW to Blue Angel

As only the third fighter pilot to become leader of the Blue Angels, Raleigh E. “Dusty” Rhodes helped develop the most famous aerobatics team ever formed. From POW to Blue Angel tells his story—a fast-paced drama teeming with action and human interest and capturing the initiative and tenacity of a true American hero. Jim Armstrong has drawn on extensive interviews and Dusty’s scrapbooks and flight logs to produce a rare account of the Blue Angels in the late 1940s. Readers will experience the stress of practice and the exhilaration of air shows as Armstrong takes them inside Dusty’s cockpit during the era when the Blues first found fame, perfecting their trademark formations and maneuvers. This book is also a moving account of the degradation that Rhodes suffered for three years as a prisoner of war, and includes his rare, ground observer’s view of the firebombings of Tokyo and Yokohama. Armstrong poignantly captures Dusty’s return to a changed postwar America, and also recounts his tour as a fighter pilot in Korea. From POW to Blue Angel is an intimate story of service and survival that will carve a place in naval aviation history—and inspire all who keep their eyes skyward.

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