"THE THUNDERBIRDS ARE A MAGNIFICENT PERSONIFICATION OF AMERICAN AIRPOWER—SWIFT, POWERFUL, EXTRAORDINARILY SKILLFUL": FIRST EDITION OF THUNDERBIRDS!, SIGNED BY TWO U.S.A.F. THUNDERBIRDS TEAMS
CAIDIN, Martin. Thunderbirds! New York: E.P. Dutton, (1961). Octavo, original dark blue cloth, original dust jacket. $450.
First edition of this illustrated tribute to the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds, signed on two separate occasions by two different teams of Thunderbirds pilots, one on the front pastedown and one on the half title.
"As acrobatic as they may be, the purpose of the Thunderbirds' demonstrations is not stunting, but to show the public the capabilities of our fighter planes and pilots, for the magnificent coordination required in the demonstrations is characteristic of the great importance of teamwork in combat flying. The Thunderbirds are a magnificent personification of American airpower—swift, powerful, extraordinarily skillful." On the half title is inscribed: "Presented to: Mr. Lamont Odett at Palmdale, California—28 October 1962. With sincere best wishes, the USAF Thunderbirds." Beneath this inscription ten members of a Thunderbirds team, including Lt. Col. William A. Alden and Major "Hoot" Gibson, have signed their names, with ranks, with a black ballpoint pen. On the front pastedown is the inscription "With sincere best wishes from the U.S.A.F. 'Thunderbirds,'" beneath which 14 team members have signed their names with a black felt-tip pen. Illustrated with numerous drawings. Without front free endpaper (blank).
Book near-fine, dust jacket with a few short closed tears and minor smudges, extremely good. Desirable signed by two separate teams of Thunderbirds pilots.