Notes Concerning the Author
Elliott White Springs (1896—1959) was a South Carolina textile magnate and a World War I air ace with 16 credited kills. He published a number of stories and books both fictional and nonfictional. In the period before World War II Springs was well-known for his humorous and rather risque’ (for the time) advertisements for Springmaid sheets (with suggestive comments by a comely Indian maiden). Also for tongue-in-cheek books like Clothes Make the Man.
War Birds is an account of World War I American aviators, somewhat fictionalized but with enough substantive content that it has sometimes been considered as a historical source. The authorship of War Birds has been involved in dispute, Springs having based the book on the letters of John McGavock Grider, a comrade from Alabama who did not survive the war and who is sometimes listed as co-author. Springs’s colorful life has led to a biography, War Bird: The Life and Times of Elliott White Springs by Burke Davis, and Letters from a War Bird: The World War I Letters of Elliott White Springs, edited by David K. Vaughan.
Availability of this Book
War Birds: The Diary of an Unknown Aviator was first published in 1926, with several later publications with varying titles. Various editions of War Birds can be found as used books. We suggest Amazon.com.