Wings Over Cape Cod, The Chatham Naval Air Station 1917-1922,by Joseph D. Buckley, available in a limited edition from Lower Cape Publishing, P.O. Box 901, Orleans, MA 02653, 2000; hard cover, 190 pages, over 130 photographs, plus posters and drawings, 8 1/2"x11", and Appendices; ISBN 0936972-18-1.
'Wings Over Cape Cod' is a chronological narrative of the Chatham Naval Air Station covering both its establishment in 1917 and with activities associated with the site in the immediate post-war period. The history ends with the sale of the site in 1947. In addition, the book covers the story of naval aviation in New England during the years 1917 through 1922. The author's father served at the station during the war; and through his oral history, as well as the archives of the Chatham Historical Society, the Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society, and other sources the author looks at the men who manned the base, the environment in which they lived, and the equipment they had to work with--including the aircraft, blimps, and kite balloons stationed at the base. Prepared in some 11 chapters (each broken down into subsets of subjects ranging in length from a single paragraph to three-four paragraphs) and five appendices the book is not only informative, but also prepared in an easily readable style. Each chapter contains extensive footnotes; and the book contains an extensive bibliography. Of man facets of the station addressed, the one of principle interest to the WWI historian is the discussion of the activities of the aircraft of the station in the only German submarine activity witnessed from American soil. A second highlight was the discussion of the role played by the station in the Navy's attempt to achieve the first aerial crossing of the Atlantic with the NC aircraft in 1919.
For those members who are interested in naval aviation, or who have an interest in either domestic aviation during the war, or aviation activities in New England during the war, this book is recommended.
Submitted by Noel Shirley