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  • Turn and Burn

  • A Fighter Pilot’s Memories and Confessions
  • By: Darrell J. Ahrens
  • Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Turn and Burn cover art

Turn and Burn

By: Darrell J. Ahrens
Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
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Summary

In Turn and Burn the author takes the readers with him in the cockpit as he shares the fulfillment of his boyhood dream and some of his most memorable adventures and misadventures during a 24-year flying career as a fighter pilot, both in combat and peacetime. Share the author’s emotions when being surrounded by enemy anti-aircraft flak, when having to crash land twice, during occasions when the aircraft’s response was violent and uncontrollable, when having a large turkey buzzard crash through the windscreen into the cockpit when the aircraft was 200 feet off the ground and traveling nearly 600 mph, just to mention a few of those memorable occasions the author shares. 

Along the way, the listeners are given vivid accounts of the joys and delights, the fears and terrors, the frustrations and fulfillments, the thrills, intensity, and humor involved in the fighter pilot’s unique life, and the special and inseparable bond that exists in the fighter pilot community. The author’s account is also deeply personal as he shares his opinion of the top leadership, both civilian and military, during the Vietnam War. His criticism is shared by the vast majority of those who fought in that war, and includes the leadership’s lack of understanding of the enemy, a prime requisite when going to war, their lack of will to do what was necessary to win, a prime requisite when going to war, and worst of all, their unconscionable willingness to allow the US military to suffer substantial losses in personnel and resources by fighting a war they were not allowed to win. 

The author’s pride in being part of the fighter pilot community can be summed up by the final phrase of a poem about military aviators written by an unknown author that goes, “Because we flew, we envy no man on earth."

About the author: 

Darrell Ahrens is a former US Marine, Air Force fighter pilot and operations staff officer, high school teacher, and pastor. He holds degrees from Chapman University, Boston University, and Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as diplomas from the Armed Forces Staff College, the Air War College, and the National Defense University. He and his wife Louise and her mother live in the Southwest, joined by their three-legged cat Masio.

©2020 Darrell J. Ahrens (P)2021 Darrell J. Ahrens

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Listener received this title free

"I never claimed to have the market on smarts"

This is the accounting of Lt.Colonel Darell 'Curly' J.Ahrens' life as a fighter pilote, from his youthful love of military figures and his intensive reading about World War II, through a period in the Marines, marriage and family (very brief), and the trainings, 'planes and flying experiences, both civic and wartime. His love of flying comes through very strongly and there are passages which read as exciting as any action thriller.
Straightforwardly written, the author interspersed his life story with personal experiences which in part illustrate his thoughts at the time but, more importantly, break up the linear account with anecdotes which are exciting, amusing or both, keeping the reader's attention focused. Altogether, he comes over as the dashing, rule breaking, devil may care, charming but superior pilot of war story fame, and one who carries his belief in God with him. There are some aspects I personally find a little incongruous, like confining all mention of his wife and children to a single, short chapter. Why include them at all as they are obviously not really part of this story? Or why not give mention of them in an introduction or epilogue?
Eric Jason Martin is the narrator of Turn and Burn and he performs with lerfection, his very pleasant to hear voice well paced and modulated. He reads all with a hint of wry humour and is easily identifiable as his first person counterpart.

My thanks to the rights holder of Turn and Burn, who, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. And as a personal memoir to leave for future family generations, the author's stated intent, he has more than succeeded - he has brought that fragment of his life alive.

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