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The Delta Lovers
A novel by Jerry Lemonds
was 140 miles south of the Main Island, Marianas Theater, North Pacific.
Zooming along at 14,000 feet. Almost home.
Officer’s Mess, tonight: English-cut roast beef and garlic potatoes –
his favorite. Life was good! I like pie, I like
cake. . . .
But then the cockpit radio crackled to
“You’ve picked up a shadow,
Johnny. Two o’clock. Johnny?”
At the same moment, he spotted a flash
of light coming off his wing. A reflection? Too big
for a bird . . . and besides, there were no birds at this
altitude. What the hell . . .
“You got a Zero at two
o’clock, Johnny. Looks like he’s lining up his
gun-sights. You better run for cover, hombre.”
He turned his head
. . . and then he saw them. At least a dozen Jap Zeros were
arcing out of a cloudbank, their engines screaming and the wing-mounted
machine guns already opening up.
All at once, Johnny Andrews was fighting
for his life.
In a flash, his right hand went to the
stick. Yanked it. Hard. The wing rolled
sharply to the left, hurling him into the gut-wrenching roller coaster
of a full-throttle Split-S. A moment later, he was flying
upside down, after roaring through a Descending Half-Loop that would
have earned him a court-martial in peacetime.
They were still coming.
“Johnny!” roared the voice on the radio,
“you gotta get out of there!”
out two other books by Jerry Lemonds,
Paddler of the Missouri
He's a hiker, a
camper, and a lifelong canoeing enthusiast. He's also a nationally
recognized author who's published several recent books that celebrate
the joys of all three pursuits.
his 2003 autobiography (Timer: An
American Story), the peripatetic
Jerry Lemonds would go on to write two high-octane novels about his
remarkable experiences as a long-distance canoe-pilot
(The Lonely Paddler of the Missouri)
and as a U.S. Navy airman during the
Korean War era (The Delta Lovers).
and raised on
a cotton farm in small-town Missouri, Jerry Lemonds put himself through
college and earned two graduate degrees . . . before spending the next
35 years running a series of federal and state
health and workers' compensation agencies. Working in more recent years as a successful
management consultant and as a guide in the national "Volunteers In
Parks" program, the adventure-loving Lemonds frequently wanders the
country in his RV, and has so far visited 16 National Parks.
chapters now available online for browsing in PDF
The Delta Lovers chapter 1
The Delta Lovers chapter 15