Book Review: Battle Hymn

Dean Hess
Buckeye Aviation Book Company, Reynoldsburg, OH, 1987.
Topic: Christianity and War

Battle Hymn is the true story of a preacher who became a fighter pilot and fought in World War II and Korea. Col Dean Hess is largely credited with the forming the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Air Force and being the driving force behind Operation Kiddy Car, in which hundreds of orphans were flown out of Seoul to avoid the Communist invasion.

Though some sources question the bravado of Col Hess, the story presents an interesting look at a spiritual man in what sometimes seems an unholy profession. Apparently the book was also made into a movie by the same name (starring Rock Hudson) that strayed slightly from the true storyline.

Recommended. While not always complimentary of Hess’s actions (both as a Christian and an Air Force officer), it is a worthwhile read. It is a particularly interesting read for young fighter pilots who are looking to an assignment at Osan or Kunsan in Korea.

This book appears to be out of print, but the most recent (1987) and older versions are available through re-sellers at Amazon.

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