John R. Bruning: Race of Aces: Race of Aces: WWII's Elite Airmen and the Epic Battle to Become the Master of the SkyBased on new research and full of revelations, John Bruning’s brilliant, original book tells the story of how five American pilots contended for personal glory in the Pacific while leading Kenney’s resurgent air force against the most formidable enemy America ever faced.


“The Heart-Stopping, Nerve-Shredding Race to Be America’s Deadliest Combat Pilot”  ―New York Times Book Review By

Race of Aces brings you into the cockpit of the lethal, fast-paced world of fighter pilots as they strive to achieve ace-level status…Bruning’s unique and intimate look at the struggles of these men to balance honor, duty to country, and their pursuit to be the best makes this account even more fascinating. This is a book you can’t put down, and a story you will reflect upon long after turning the last page.”―Sara Vladic, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Indianapolis

Race of Aces is a superb read, taking us through the high-stakes world of our great Aces and the WWII air war…Extraordinary. Wear your G suit and hang on — this must-read will become a classic.”―Dan Pedersen, Founder of the Topgun program and bestselling author of Topgun: An American Story

“The riveting and emotional story of five American fighter pilots caught up in a deadly competition to claim the title of our nation’s Ace of Aces, this book is so powerfully written that you can almost smell the engine exhaust and feel the G-forces in those furious dogfights. Race of Aces is quite simply is one of the best books ever written on World War II and cements Bruning’s place as one of our generation’s best combat historians.”―David Bellavia, Medal of Honor Recipient and author of House to House: A Soldier’s Memoir

“In Race of Aces, John R. Bruning brilliantly recreates the excitement and terror of one of the greatest untold stories of World War II: the nerve-shredding three-year contest to become America’s deadliest fighter pilot. Exhaustively researched and expertly written — with dogfights as vivid and gripping as any I’ve read — the book confirms Bruning’s status as the premier war historian of the air.”―Saul David, author of The Force and Operation Thunderbolt

“A heart-pounding narrative of the courage, sacrifice, and tragedy of America’s elite fighter pilots during World War II. With a cockpit view of the fight, readers will hear the roar of the engines, feel the surge of adrenaline, and wrestle with the exhaustion that gripped these aviators in the marathon battle to become America’s top fighter pilot.”―James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of Target Tokyo and Rampage

“With deft, grit, and no shying away from the horrifying realities of war, Bruning…brings these heroes back to life, defining the struggles of morality, mortality, and glory that suffused their careers….[R]ich with historical information, Race of Aces reads like a novel and features interactions with figures such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Charles Lindbergh. Bruning’s suspenseful storytelling utilizes personal interviews with U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) veterans, oral histories, archives, military history agencies, and letters/diaries written by the aces themselves….Eloquent and finely researched.”―Library Journal (starred review)

“Satisfying…Combat aviation buffs will enjoy Bruning’s explorations of a little-known history.”―Kirkus Reviews