ACE:
A Marine Night-Fighter Pilot in World War II


by Colonel R. Bruce Porter with Eric Hammel


"My first time at the controls of the N3N was a nightmare of jerky, uncoordinated movements, over-corrections, needless exertions, and red-faced certainty that I did not, in fact, have the right stuff. The instructor calmly got me—and himself—out of trouble and never uttered a sound of dismay. Until we were safely on the ground. Then he looked at me—a wet rag, sweating fear and embarrassment into my bulky flight suit—and said just the thing to make my day: 'Porter, you will never solo. You are the dumbest cadet I have ever laid eyes on.'"

Ace! is Bruce Porter's life as a Marine combat fighter pilot—from his earliest days as a naval aviation cadet before World War II, to his adventures guarding America’s forwardmost defense line in the South Pacific, to his aerial combat over the Solomons. Follow Bruce Porter through his exacting night-fighter training and fly with him on his rare double-kill night mission over Okinawa in 1945.

Colonel Robert Bruce Porter, USMCR (Ret) reported for his Last Flight on April 20, 2009.