William W. Whitson

Apprentice Warrior

Apprentice Warrior


Author William Whitson is certainly to be congratulated for his sense of history.  I rarely read fiction in which the author has done his homework in such uncommonly accurate details, the sort of accuracy which is professionally woven into the historical novels of authors like Herman Wouk and Louis L'Amour. 

I am both relieved and grateful to report that Apprentice Warrior is not one of those Hardy-Boys-Learn-to-Fly or Dick-Cole-at-West-Point books of the 1930s intended to inspire naive youth.  It is a well-thought out and well-research document.  The reader can't finish the book without picking up hundred of new facts. 

Whitson's technical accuracy is great, but his historical accuracy is superb.  His dialogues return to that venerable questions which are the most important academic endeavors at the service academies, engineering or the humanities?  As I look back on the recent mistakes of our civilian and military leaders, I reflect that nearly all of their mistakes have come about not because of their lack of technical expertise, but because of their ignorance of history.

– Frederick V. Malmstrom
USAF Academy

Whitson has undertaken an immense literary challenge in this book-- to blend the harshly practical world of the military mind and the brutal history of World War I's air war with the deepest thoughts of the world's mystics and philosophers. There are exponential rewards for Old Grads and Young Turks who have a bent to absorb both. In perhaps the novel's most fascinating exchange... David Harrison gives the best description of the exaltation of flight this reviewer has ever read.

– Thomas Fleming in ASSEMBLY
March-April, 2004

The novel keeps you wanting to turn to the next page. His understanding of aviation, its early history and the thoughts that go through a young man's mind during combat make this a must read for all aspiring young aviators and those not so young who are interested in aviation. A really great book!

– General Robert Mathis
former Vice Chief of Staff
US Air Force


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