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11.07.15 Springs, Elliott White, War Birds: The Diary of an Unknown Aviator, published in 1926

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.

Our Review

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