INSCRIBED BY ASTRONAUT FRANK BORMAN
(BORMAN, Frank) SERLING, Robert J. From the Captain to the Colonel. An Informal History of Eastern Airlines. New York: Dial, (1980). Octavo, original half brown cloth, original dust jacket. $350.
First edition of this history of the now-defunct Eastern Airlines, boldly inscribed by Eastern Airlines CEO and astronaut Frank Borman: "To Capt Bill Cairns, With good memories. Best wishes, Frank Borman."
This book offers a candid history of Eastern Airlines, once one of the Big Four alongside American, TWA, and United. Eastern had a long, tumultuous history, beginning with its long period under the control of Eddie Rickenbacker (who made enemies with virtually everyone involved in aviation). Eastern's later history, much of it under Frank Borman's leadership, was characterized by relative success followed by the massive financial, union, and hijacking issues that bankrupted the airline. This copy is inscribed by Frank Borman to Capt. Bill Cairns, probably the Vickers test pilot. Borman was a major figure in aviation, beginning his career as a fighter pilot before becoming an assistant professor of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics at West Point. Originally selected by the military as a test pilot in 1960, Borman was selected by NASA just two years later. Borman went to space with Gemini 7 and Apollo 8. Later, Borman watched the moon landing alongside President Nixon as NASA liaison to the White House. Borman became senior vice president for operations at Eastern Air Lines, then CEO, and finally chairman of the board. However, Borman overexpanded the airline and, ultimately, financial issues brought down Eastern and Borman along with it. He spent the rest of his life running a car dealership and ranch. Stamped star remainder mark along bottom of text block.
Book about-fine, dust jacket near-fine with slightest rubbing to extremities and mild toning to spine. A handsome copy with a wonderful association.