Look, Mom -- I Can Fly! Memoirs of a World War II P-38 Fighter Pilot

by Robert "Smoky" Vrilakas

As a boy in a small northern California town in the mid-1920s, Robert Vrilakas would rush outside--with the rest of the town's inhabitants--at the rare sound of an airplane flying overhead. Vrilakas would marvel at the pilots of the Ford trimotors who seemed almost superhuman and far beyond anything a small-town boy could even dream of being. But when Vrilakas was drafted into the Army prior to World War II, he found an opportunity to pursue such a dream.

In Look, Mom - I Can Fly! Vrilakas takes you into the cockpit of the top fighter plane of the time, the P-38 "Lightning," as he learns to fly in the dusty deserts of Southern California. Join Robert Vrilakas as part of the famed "Hat in the Ring" squadron in North Africa for combat missions against the Luftwaffe and Italian Air Force. From escorting bombers to one of the largest air battles of World War II, Vrilakas flew in 51 risky missions, some of which came very close to being his last.

Look, Mom - I Can Fly! also takes you behind the scenes to meet the P-38 pilots who fought in the Mediterranean skies. Experience the everyday life of a fighter pilot as these young men struggled to make sense of the strange and often harsh world they had entered. Continue to follow Vrilakas after the war as he and his fellow pilots disperse into new opportunities and circumstances taking with them the experiences that had changed their lives as it had for the small-town California boy who became a pilot.

Look, Mom -- I Can Fly! by Robert "Smoky" Vrilakas is available for purchase at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, iTunes, and/or your local bookstore.