Weston Birch (Bert) Hall carved out his place in history with an almost devilish
delight. Much of what has been written about him, including his own two
autobiographies, has proven over the years to be more fiction than reality. He was
labelled numerous times in his career: rogue, scoundrel, card cheat, forger, human
cannonball, First World War pilot, criminal, bigamist, deserter, filmmaker, author, soldier
of fortune, hero, Chinese General, arms smuggler, Foreign Legionnaire, salesman,
aerial racer, aviation pioneer, father, and entrepreneur. Oddly enough, these titles were
all true. Bert Hall’s fantastic life and status as the bad boy of the Lafayette Escadrille
have often eclipsed the truth.
Turning to primary sources in archives around the world, many that have been
overlooked for decades, this book makes the first attempt to reconstruct the life of Bert
Hall. For the first time aficionados of World War 1 aviation and aviation history will
get a glimpse into the life of a man who lived in extraordinary times and took
advantage of them. While Bert’s autobiographies were penned mostly to create a myth
around his life, they often were based on kernels of truth. This book finds those
kernels and paints the real-life picture of an amazing man who lived in incredible
As the elder man of the Lafayette Escadrille, Bert was basically run out of the
squadron by his colleagues. That should have been the end of his story. In reality, it
was just the beginning. In an age where the world was fascinated by aviators, Bert
became a real-life comic book character – a mercenary of the skies!
234 x 156 mm • hardback • 192 pages • 16 illustrations
Blaine Pardoe is the author of
numerous books in SF, military nonfiction,
and business management genres.
He has appeared on a number of national
television and radio shows to speak about
his books and has been a featured speaker
at the US National Archives, the United
States Navy Museum and the New York
Military Affairs Symposium.
He is also a
member of the League of World War 1
Aviation Historians. His books have even
been mentioned in the US Congress. His
books have been printed in six languages
and he is recognised worldwide for his
historical and fiction works
Sample page spreads will be available soon.
This feature is currently in development.