Legacy of Honor

The Air Warrior - Book Two

The Patriarch’s only son, Sean, is a senior in college when Pearl Harbor is bombed. Sean finishes his senior year, graduates with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Ohio State University, is commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and joins the Army Air Corps flight training program.  In 1943 he is sent to England to fly B-17’s with the 8th US Army Air Corps later to be called the 8th Army Air Force, the “Mighty Eighth.”  During this time, he’ll fly multiple bombing missions over France and Germany.  He’s awarded several citations and combat ribbons for his service and comes to the attention of Colonel Curtis LeMay (later in the war he is promoted to General).  Over the years they become friends and confidants.

Along the way Sean meets Major James (Jimmy) Stewart, a B-24 pilot flying out of England. A fan of big band music, Sean also meets Glenn Miller at a USO show shortly before Glenn goes missing over the English Channel and is declared dead.  In early 1944, Sean is sent home on a 30-day leave having flown 35 missions.  While home he meets his future wife, Ana, at a dance and they begin corresponding after he returns to the war. Back in England he flies several more missions, is shot down near Versailles, France, is rescued by the French underground and meets his French grandparents.

After the War, Sean leaves the service, marries Ana, and begins a career with Timken Roller Bearing Company, in Canton, Ohio. Ana and Sean have three sons, Alan, Lee, and Scott. As Sean pursues his career, the Korean War breaks out. He is called back into the service and must leave his family behind. He’s trained on B-29 heavy bombers, and sent to Okinawa where he flies multiple combat missions over Korea in Command of a Bomber Wing.  Following the Korean War, he’ll remain in the United States Air Force and serve in multiple SAC (Strategic Air Command) bomber units and progress up the chain of command to General. He participates in the development of SAC’s Cold War strategy, it’s implementation and on-going performance.  He’s at the center of the Cuban Missile Crisis and its aftermath while stationed at Homestead Air Force Base, and  serves during the early part of the Vietnam War. He’ll forever be haunted by his war experiences and the losses of men he was responsible for during his years flying combat missions.


The Air Warrior - Book Two

A novel of wartime bombing missions that makes for gripping reading…

Freeland is an absolute master of flight-combat narrative; a decorated veteran of air combat in Vietnam, his ability to put the reader in the seat of a B-17 beset by German fighter planes and anti-aircraft fire is superb…For fans of combat fiction…this book will be a welcome addition to a genre already packed with exciting literature, and readers interested in how ideas of duty and honor sustained American servicemen under the most trying conditions will find it well worth the investment.

Kirkus Review

Freeland’s descriptions of air combat are thrilling...

The Air Warrior (Publish Authority, 456 pp. $19.95, paperback) is Book Two of Larry Freeland’s proposed Legacy of Honor trilogy. Altogether, the novels will tell the stories of three generations of men in one American family from World War I through at least the Vietnam War. Freeland served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division as an infantry officer and helicopter pilot.

The Air Warrior begins in the summer of 1943 with a recent college graduate, 1st Lt. Sean McCormick, in the copilot’s seat of a B-17 Flying Fortress in the air over Germany, feeling like he’s flying “into hell.” The group of planes he’s a part of comes under attack by German ME-109 fighters at such close range that the young LT can clearly see enemy pilots’ faces

McCormick’s father, as we read in Book One, survived the hell of World War I, and, as his son recalls, he is “haunted by terrible memories of his days in the trenches.”

After victory in Europe in 1945, Sean McCormick trains in new bombers under Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. He then flies in the Korean War, and afterward serves in the Strategic Air Command with Gen. Curtis LeMay.

Freeland’s novel contains interesting bits of military information. We learn, for example, about how oxygen masks were made to work in higher altitudes, details about uniforms worn by typical flight crews, and the nose art on B-17s, as well as the contents of evasion and escape kits issued to Allied air crews and the creation of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1954.

The overarching theme of the trilogy is how this country treats its warriors during and after wars and conflicts. As this volume ends, it’s the very early years of America’s involvement in what would become the Vietnam War and McCormick’s three sons who are all coming of age.

If these first two books are any example, the third will bring this story to a smashing conclusion.  

Bill McCloud Vietnam Veterans of America

The author has woven historical facts and added an encompassing military and family story into a very compelling book.

I enjoyed “The Air Warrior” in many ways: The book covered a wide scope of wars and skirmishes in history and added to my knowledge of those points in time. The author is very thorough in explaining military history and aircraft history and provides an informative backdrop to his storyline. The storyline is interesting and has a strong main character in Sean McCormick. The author’s style is penetrating and straight-forward, and you are pulled into the cockpit with Sean and the many missions which he flew. Even for a reader who may not normally gravitate towards military battle scenes, the accounts are very exciting to read. The book provides a wonderful story of a family’s service and commitment to the country, as well as love and support through the generations for each other. One of my favorite parts was when Sean meets his maternal grandfather under trying circumstances in France. It was an example of the sacrifices families make in wartime and a very poignant part for me. The author has taken historical facts and added an encompassing military and family story and woven them into a very compelling book.

Babett McBain

What a terrific read - Skillfully researched and written!

You won’t want to stop reading this one. You’ll experience life, emotions, action, and the horrors of aerial combat as Sean and the bomber crews experience them.

John Woodward

The Air Warrior took me on an emotional rollercoaster…

The Air Warrior took me on an emotional rollercoaster alternating between tension filled moments of life and death during strategic bombing missions and short ground-based reprieves, only to climb back in the airplane and fly another mission. I felt I was in the seat behind Sean McCormick never knowing if this would be my last mission or whether I would get safely back on the ground! The Air Warrior resonates with the duty, courage, and convictions of people who gave of themselves in the face of horrendous hardships and sufferings to defeat tyranny and preserve freedom and liberty. Thank God for people like Sean McCormick.

Shawn Ireland

The wealth of information tied to the continuing story of one family keeps the reader interested and makes history more personal…

The Air Warrior, second book in the Legacy of Honor trilogy, is an educational history of the American pilot in WWII, Korea, and the Cold War.  Any pilot or military student will enjoy reading all the technical information about planes and bombing tactics.  History students will learn a great deal about the well-researched and analyzed political events and actual leaders of the time period.  That all of this wealth of information is tied to the continuing story of one family keeps the reader interested and makes history more personal.

Regina Loveridge

Great Story of Grace Under Pressure

Mr. Freeland provides one of the best and most accurate descriptions of being a bomber pilot during war as well as an example of leadership under pressure I have ever read. A memorable and honest story of the personal toll war takes on a pilot and his crew.

James Harvey Author of several WWII novels

Buckle your shoulder harness and chinstrap as you fly über-dangerous, white-knuckle bombing raids over Europe and North Korea.

Buckle your shoulder harness and chinstrap as you fly über-dangerous, white-knuckle bombing raids over Europe and North Korea. A fiery death is often the fate of these slow, lumbering bombers, sitting ducks for ground flak and enemy fighter jets. This most entertaining and informative novel enriched my understanding and appreciation of the war efforts of the Greatest Generation, and the mass casualties they suffered.

Jameson Gregg Georgia Author of the Year and IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award Winner

You fly with the heroes. Another work of art!

Larry Freeland paints historically accurate, authentic, action-packed scenes that propel the reader into the dangerous air battles of war. The spectrum of emotions, narrated by the heroic protagonist, shifts the reader from observer to participant; you fly with the heroes. Another work of art!

Paulette Brown

Though a fictional story, it is a riveting history lesson…

Though a fictional story, it is a riveting history lesson, and you will be amazed by the courage and skill of the B-17 pilots and crews.  If you ever wondered why veterans of WWII were called the “Greatest Generation”, you will know after reading this book. Hard to put down once you start reading.

John Smith

Story takes us on a compelling, emotional, and powerful journey…

The Air Warrior” is the perfect title for the second book of The Legacy Trilogy.  The family military saga continues with Sam McCormick’s son, Sean, joining the Army Air Force and the story takes us on a compelling, emotional, and powerful journey through his military career as a pilot during WWII and the Korean War.  We are let into the head and heart of Sean as we experience his life as a warrior pilot, his honorable military service, and his undying love for his family. Be prepared to feel as though you are in the co-pilot seat beside Sean.

Linda Miller


You can order the book at your favorite local bookstore, or online and in real-world bookstores worldwide.

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