Tillman, Barrett 1948–

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Tillman, Barrett 1948–

PERSONAL:

Born December 24, 1948, in Pendleton, OR; son of John Henry, Jr. (a rancher) and Beverly Jean (a homemaker) Tillman. Education: Attended Oregon State University, 1967-68; University of Oregon, B.S., 1971. Politics: Conservative. Religion: Baptist.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Athena, OR. Agent—Robert Gottlieb, William Morris Agency, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Freelance writer, 1972-82; Champlin Fighter Museum, Mesa, AZ, publisher, 1982-86; Tailhook Association, Bonita, CA, managing editor of The Hook, 1986-89; freelance writer, beginning 1989. Conducted history seminars at National Air and Space Museum and Champlin Fighter Museum. President, Athena Chamber of Commerce, 1976-77, and Athena Caledonian Games, 1978-79; member of Umatilla County Planning Commission, 1976-79; police and library commissioner for Athena City Council, 1990; firearms instructor.

MEMBER:

U.S. Naval Institute, Tailhook Association, National Rifle Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Contributor's award from the American Aviation Historical Society Journal, 1978; writing awards from U.S. Air Force History Foundation, 1981, and North American Oceanographic Society, 1987.

WRITINGS:

The Dauntless Dive-Bomber of World War II, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1976.

Hellcat: The F6F in World War II, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1979.

Corsair: The F4U in World War II and Korea, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1979.

TBF-TBM Avenger at War, Ian Allan Publishing (Surrey, England), 1979, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1990.

MiG Master: The Story of the F-8 Crusader, Nautical and Aviation (Mount Pleasant, SC), 1980.

Wildcat: The F4F in World War II, Nautical and Aviation (Mount Pleasant, SC), 1983.

The History of U.S. Naval Airpower, Aerospace Publishing (London, England), 1985.

(With J.B. Nichols) On Yankee Station, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1987.

Warriors (mystery novel), Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

Avenger at War, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1990.

Dauntless: A Novel of Midway and Guadalcanal, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Sun Downers, VF-11 in World War II, Phalanx Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 1993.

The Marianas Turkey Shoot, June 19-20, 1944: Carrier Battle in the Philippine Sea, Phalanx Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 1994.

(With Maj. Gen. Marion E. Carl) Pushing the Envelope: The Career of Fighter Ace and Test Pilot Marion Carl, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1994.

(Contributor) Daniel Webb Tomlinson The Reminiscences of Captain Daniel Webb, U.S. Naval Institute (Annapolis, MD), 1995.

(With Richard L. "Zeke" Cormier, Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, Phillip R. "Rat" Wood) Wildcats to Tomcats: The Tailhook Navy, Phalanx (St. Paul, MN), 1995.

(With Robert Lawson) Carrier Air War: In Original WWII Color, Motorbooks International (Oceola, WI), 1996.

Hellcats: A Novel of War in the Pacific, Brassey's (Washington, DC), 1996.

Vought F4U Corsair, Specialty Press (North Branck, MN), 1996.

U.S. Navy Fighter Squadrons in World War II, Specialty Press (North Branch, MN), 1997.

U.S. Navy Fighters of World War II, MBI Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 1998.

(Contributor) James D. Ramage The Reminiscences of Rear Admiral James D. Ramage U.S. Navy (Retired), U.S. Naval Institute (Annapolis, MD), 1999.

(With Robert Lawson) U.S. Navy Air Combat: 1939-1946, MBI Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 2000.

U.S. Navy Dive and Torpedo Bombers of World War II, MBI Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 2001.

Above and Beyond: The Aviation Medals of Honor, Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington, DC), 2002.

Alpha Bravo Delta Guide to the U.S. Air Force, Alpha (Indianapolis, IN), 2003.

Brassey's D-Day Encyclopedia: The Normandy Invasion A-Z, Brassey's (Washington, DC), 2004.

Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Marion E. Carl) Pushing the Envelope: The Career of Fighter Ace and Test Pilot Marion Carl, Bluejacket Books/Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2005.

Heroes: U.S. Army Medal of Honor Recipients, Berkley Caliber (New York, NY), 2006.

The Dauntless Dive Bomber of World War II, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2006.

(With Harold Coyle) Prometheus's Child: Harold Coyle's Strategic Solutions, Inc., Forge (New York, NY), 2007.

LeMay, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Harold Coyle) Pandora's Legion: Harold Coyle's Strategic Solutions, Inc., Forge (New York, NY), 2007.

What We Need: Extravagance and Shortages in America's Military, MBI Pub. Co. (St. Paul, MN), 2007.

Also author of "From the Catwalk" column in The Hook. Member of editorial committee, American Aviation Historical Society Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Barrett Tillman grew up on a farm in Oregon, but even as a child he had a strong awareness of all things related to flying and aircraft. His father had been a Marine Corps aviator during World War II, and instilled his love of planes in his son. But Tillman also had the opportunity to see planes in action growing up, in the form of crop dusters that would often land on their small, private air strip, which was maintained on the farm just for this purpose. In addition, military planes would sometimes fly low out of the closest Air Force Base, Fairchild, in Spokane, Washington.

Tillman is the author of numerous books focusing primarily on the naval aircraft used during World War II, a specialty influenced by his father's experiences. He researched the planes extensively, often traveling and attending reunions of the flyers who used those planes during the war to get first-hand anecdotes about their capabilities. In Corsair: The F4U in World War II and Korea, Tillman focuses on a plane that has often been written about, but takes a new angle, addressing how the plane was nearly decommissioned, spending a total of three years on land-based fields instead of on carriers, as had been its design intention. William A. Nardo, writing for Air Power History, remarked: "This well-written book gives the reader exceptional insight into the role the Vought F4U played during World War II and how the Corsair supported and augmented other aircraft of the time."

In addition, Tillman has written a number of thrillers, where military planes frequently feature as the hero. One such book is Dauntless: A Novel of Midway and Guadalcanal, which focuses on the Douglas Dauntless dive-bombers and the carrier battle that took place during the Guadalcanal campaign. Four Japanese carriers were sunk by the planes, helping to ensure the outcome of the war. The book features both fictional characters and historical figures, and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked "that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish Tillman's creations from the real people."

Tillman once told CA: "My mother is the reason I'm a writer; she read to her three boys from infancy and constantly encouraged us to read on our own. When the U.S. Navy decided it did not need me to fly its F-8 Crusaders, I reluctantly turned to Plan B and majored in journalism, specializing in aviation subjects. I learned to fly in 1965, at age sixteen, and restored two vintage Navy aircraft with my father. Almost by default, I cornered the naval aviation history market. To date my most important book is On Yankee Station, which is a professional text for the Marine Corps and the Air Force. I believe there are only three elements to good writing: clarity, brevity, and style—elements badly needed in military history. Fiction writing as a career is an unexpected, delightful result of fourteen years of preparation!"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Air Power History, spring, 2004, William A. Nardo, review of Corsair: The F4U in World War II and Korea, p. 55.

Booklist, November 15, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II, p. 17; December 15, 2006, Roland Green, review of Lemay, p. 8.

California Bookwatch, October 1, 2006, review of Heroes: U.S. Army Medal of Honor Recipients.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2006, review of Pandora's Legion: Harold Coyle's Strategic Solutions, Inc., p. 1142.

Library Journal, May 1, 1992, review of Dauntless: A Novel of Midway and Guadalcanal, p. 120.

Naval Aviation News, July 1, 2003, Peter B. Mersky, review of Above and Beyond: The Aviation Medals of Honor, p. 56.

Publishers Weekly, February 24, 1992, "The Sixth Battle," p. 50; March 23, 1992, review of Dauntless, p. 61; February 14, 1994, review of Pushing the Envelope: The Career of Fighter Ace and Test Pilot Marion Carl, p. 72; May 20, 1996, review of Hellcats: A Novel of War in the Pacific, p. 244; November 20, 2006, review of Pandora's Legion, p. 34; December 18, 2006, review of LeMay, p. 58.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2004, review of Brassey's D-Day Encyclopedia: The Normandy Invasion A-Z, p. 32.

Sea Power, July 1, 2003, Sherry L. Gardner, review of Above and Beyond, p. 45.

Vietnam, April 1, 2003, "A Reissued Classic Serves as an Indespensable Guide to Modern Aerial Warfare," p. 50.

World War II, October 1, 2006, Robert Citino, review of Clash of the Carriers, p. 73.

ONLINE

Barrett Tillman's Web Page,http://www.btillman.com (August 28, 2007).