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Rudy Villarreal

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Rudy Villarreal, USA, served in the United States Army from 1964 to 1966. He is a graduate of Northrop Institute of Technology and retired after 30 years in the aerospace industry. Rudy Villarreal is the author of Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945.

One reader of Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945 said, “In his introduction to "Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945," author Rudolph C. Villarreal says this about the book: "This is a documentary of Hispanic boys from my home state of Arizona who served as pilots and aircrew in our armed forces during the war." The book contains entries on seventy-seven "flyboys" from both the Army and Naval air services. The book is structured like a reference work; the seventy-seven entries are alphabetically organized and follow a standard format. Each entry includes the man's name, rank, hometown, combat decorations, and other material.

 

The flyboys include pilots, gunners, navigators, flight engineers, radio operators, and those in other jobs. Both enlisted men and officers are included. The book contains reproductions of many materials from the era covered. There are photographs of newspaper articles from the Phoenix Gazette, Tempe Daily New Arizona Republic, and other newspapers, as well as reproductions of such historic documents as a commendatory letter to a flyboy from the governor of Arizona. Although some of these reproduced documents are difficult to read, overall they are a great feature. The book is also full of photographs showing the flyboys and the crews they served with; many photos show the men together with the aircraft of their era.

 

Villarreal notes that his primary sources of information were wartime newspapers. His footnotes give further insights into his research methods. Included in the entries are some remarkable stories of courage and survival. Quite a number of the flyboys survived time as POWs. Villarreal also tells of many of the men's lives after the war; there are some noteworthy accounts of achievement in both military and civilian careers. It's clear that this book was a labor of love for the author. This is both a valuable reference work and a moving tribute to this group of World War II veterans.”


Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945
Rudolph Villarreal  More Info

According to the book description of Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945, “World War II remains probably the most significant historical event of the 20th Century. It has been well documented in print and film over the last sixty years. Not much, however, has been written about Hispanics who served in uniform from 1941 through 1945. This is especially true of those who served in the so-called "glamorous" air corps of the US Army and Navy. This is a documentary of Hispanic young men from Arizona who served as pilots, navigators, bombardiers, flight engineers, gunners, and radio operators. Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority in Arizona. Many of Arizona's Hispanics served valiantly in ground and sea forces during WWII, and today, in the Hispanic community as elsewhere, their service is remembered proudly. Less well known, however, is the contribution made by those young men in the elite volunteer services that fought the war from above.”

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