“Reads like a World War II thriller, only better because every word is true.… One of the great untold stories of history. Robert Gandt has brought it vividly, unforgettably to life.” —Steven Pressfield, best-selling author of Gates of Fire
In 1948, when the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states, a band of volunteer airmen from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and South Africa arrived to help. They were a small group, fewer than 150. Many were World War II veterans; most of them knowingly violated their nations’ embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. The airmen risked everything—their careers, citizenship, and lives—to fight for Israel. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel’s war of independence stands as one of the most stirring—and little-known—war stories of the past century.
About the Author
Robert Gandt is a former Navy fighter pilot, international airline captain, and the award-winning author of sixteen books on aviation and military subjects. He lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Compellingly readable.… [Gandt] recreates the early battles of the War of Independence with an unbridled enthusiasm that captures the reader’s heart.
It is always so rewarding to read a book about combat flying written by an author who obviously knows the subject firsthand! Robert Gandt’s latest book on the infant Israeli Air Force fills a real need and shines new light on one of the most heroic battles in history. The prowess of the IAF in recent years has caused us to forget just how precarious was its beginning, and how joyfully the battle was joined by a wide variety of pilots flying airplanes better suited for a museum than combat. — Walter Boyne, former director of the National Air and Space Museum
These are the forgotten ‘Flying Tigers’ who stepped forward when the world turned away, to fly and fight for the highest stakes—the survival of Israel. A cinematic mélange of heart-pounding history, Angels in the Sky does justice to an epic, unsung story.
— Adam Makos, New York Times best-selling author of A Higher Call
In 1948 a group of ragtag aerial warriors from the four corners of the earth helped save the newborn state of Israel from the armed forces of five Arab states—a David facing Goliath. Improbably, Israel won the war in a miraculous military victory. Books like Angels in the Sky come along once in a generation. You must read it.
— Stephen Coonts, New York Times best-selling author of Flight of the Intruder
Angels in the Sky reads like a World War II thriller, only better because every word is true. The saga of Israel’s fledgling air force and the motley crew of heroes who saved the Jewish state is one of the great, untold stories of history. Robert Gandt has brought it vividly, unforgettably to life.
— Steven Pressfield, best-selling author of Gates of Fire
Angels in the Sky is the best of Robert Gandt. He details the extreme measures that were required to get aircraft out of the United States, Britain, and other countries and into Israel in 1948. But more importantly, he gives life to the aircraft buyers, mechanics, and pilots that were to make up what would become one of the most formidable air forces in the world. Gandt shows us the joy, sorrow, comradeship, and trust that was shared by the foreign and Jewish members of the group. A terrific read for anyone.
— David North, former editor in chief, Aviation Week & Space Technology
A well-told aviation history unlike any other. Beechcraft Bonanza bombers, B-movie Beaufighters, ersatz Messerschmitts, a bogus airline, and battle-tested veterans from every corner of the world—all to save a new nation in terrible peril. A truly amazing yarn. — William Garvey, editor in chief, Business & Commercial Aviation
It takes a serious pilot to adequately describe serious aerial adventures, and Robert Gandt does that better than anyone. Angels in the Sky digs into one of the most exciting chapters in aviation history: the three-dimensional battle for the birth of a nation—Israel. He brings the ragtag pilots and their ragtag air force to life in a way that gives new dimension to the meaning and value of independence.
— Budd Davisson, editor in chief, Flight Journal
Robert Gandt understands pilots and he understands flying, which are not always the same thing. Angels in the Sky is… an enjoyable, balanced description of the origin of one of the world’s leading air forces. Strap in tight, turn up the oxygen, and set the gunsight for ‘pegged range,’ because it’s a wild ride.
— Barrett Tillman, author of Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942–1945