Biographies

Armor Plate Press is proud to present a growing series of personal histories of WWII air war veterans. These books are produced in very limited numbers and we have very few copies. These are incredible stories of commitment and sacrifice and bring the scope of the Second World War to a very personal level. Well illustrated, these books are recommended for any serious student of military aviation or WWII.


I Needed a War To Do ItI Needed A War To Do It: A Veteran Remembers

by Elmer Pankratz

Elmer Pankratz always wanted to fly, but in Depression-era America, that wasn’t likely for a small town boy of modest means. When WWII began, Elmer was armed with a high school diploma, fierce determination, and a love of flying – and at just 18 years old he became a pilot. He wanted to fly the P-51 Mustang so badly that he took on the dangerous assignment of flying tactical recon just to pilot his “aluminum sweetheart”. This book is filled with photos from Elmer’s personal collection and is an outstanding personal history of combat flying, and a must-read for all P-51 Mustang fans.

Out of Stock


Prop Wash

Prop Wash: A Fighter Pilot’s Hazy Recollections of WWII

by Tom Matye

Almost 64 years after he flew his last combat mission, Traian “Tom” Matye’s memories of his experiences flying 75+ missions in the P-47 Thunderbolt with the 358th Fighter Group are still quite sharp. After performing dozens of harrowing ground attack missions in support of Patton’s army in France, dodging German flak and fighters, and operating from primitive forward airfields, Tom’s sense of humor is still intact. Strap on your crash helmet and G-Suit and get ready for his “hazy recollections” of WWII combat flying. This book marks an important chapter in the history of the P-47 Thunderbolt and in the mindset of the fighter-bomber pilot. Illustrated throughout with photos from Tom’s private collection.

Out of Stock


By Air, Land and Sea

By Air, Land and Sea: A Pacific Odyssey with the 5th Air Force in World War II

by Marty Richards

Sergeant Marty Richards was not supposed to be a “combat soldier”. At least that’s what he was told when he became a member of the 388th Air Service Squadron in 1942. Wounded and captured by Japanese troops on New Guinea, Marty managed to escape after surviving ten days without food or medical attention. He was later wounded again, and also survived plane crashes, amoebic dysentery, and unreasonable commanders. He endured bombing raids, typhoons, and attacks by Japanese infiltrators and paratroops. Marty participated in the “island hopping” campaign, setting up airbase after airbase as the 5th Air Force moved across the Pacific. In his spare time he kept American combat aircraft ready for their next mission. His final journey home in the face of a killer typhoon is as epic as all the combat he was never supposed to have seen!

Out of Stock