A Hero's Life

A Hero's Life

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The story of a war hero who is faced with a choice between what he believes is moral on the one hand,
and his job, his family and the security of his country on the other.

Steve Pritchard was a World War II fighter pilot hero who returned from England in 1945 to his home in Los Angeles. He was a double ace with twelve downed Messerschmitt ME-109’s to his credit. Steve had married his high school sweetheart, the prettiest girl in town, went to work at Western Aircraft Company, the largest aircraft company in Southern California and moved into a new home with swimming pool on the Palos Verdes peninsula. Steve and Ellen quickly had three children and settled down to a comfortable post-war life.

He earned a masters degree in aeronautical engineering at UCLA night school and became his company’s chief troubleshooter. The company’s design team listened to his suggestions and respected his opinion. All was going well when he was assigned a special mission by the company president to investigate multiple crashes of the company’s new, supersonic fighter jet. It would be a simple task, one that he was sure he could solve in a few days.

But those few days turned into months of futile probing, political infighting, Air Force interference, threats on his life and lack of support from his company’s management as well as from his family. Using his experience in airplane design and applying his flying skills, could he finally identify the cause of the crashes? If he identifies the problem, should he reveal the faulty design and lose his job, his home, and his family, or cover up the problem, get the promotion for which he had been working, and continue to live a comfortable life? A man who had been hailed a hero just a few years before in World War II was now to find out what it really meant to lead a hero’s life.

About the Author:

Artthur A. Edwards is a retired aerospace engineer and manager who designed, built and operated large space simulation facilities at Lockheed Missiles, Sunnyvale, Ford Aerospace and Space Systems Loral both in Palo Alto. He was also an Adjunct Professor, who taught courses in engineering, business management, organizational behavior, leadership and project management at San Jose State University, University of California, Santa Cruz and at the University of San Francisco. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Cybernetic Systems from San Jose State University.

Arthur was a naval officer and veteran of the Korean War, serving on an attack transport in the Sea of Japan and across the Pacific. Art left the naval reserve a few years later as a lieutenant and is now retired and lives with his retired educator wife in the Gold Country of the Sierra Nevada foothills of California.

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