RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

25 May 2007

The Aluminum Trail by Chick Marrs Quinn


This is part of a fascinating genre of books, self published military histories. They are not like the buckram bound regimental histories lettered gilt on spine and front cover with crests etc. They are more likely to be paperbacks written by old soldiers and sometimes their widows, many came out of WW2 in US and UK and are often very hard to find.

Chick Marrs Quinn. THE ALUMINUM TRAIL (CHINA-BURMA-INDIA-WORLD WAR II, HOW AND WHERE THEY DIED. Self Published? USA (FLA?) 1989.

Current Prices $200+/£100+


AVIATION/ MILITARY HISTORY AND WARFARE.
Not a lot known about this wanted book except that it's about US aerial operations in the Pacific Area in WW2 and CMQ was a woman last heard of living in Lake City Florida. The book is dedicated to 1st Lt. Loyal Stuart Marrs, Jr., Chick's husband who was killed February 27, 1945. A letter to her from someone at the China National Aviation Corporation site in 2005 was returned unopened. The CNAC site has good info on many other books about US aviation in the Indo - China area in this period. The 'aluminum trail' title refers to the pattern of air crashes in these difficult regions, especially the Himalayas. I suspect persons who lost relations and loved ones flying so far from home eagerly want this rare book and not a few libraries.

VALUE? Not on web and I have little idea of price. Pretty scarce. One chap on the excellent wantedbooks.com site is offering $25 to $50 for a copy for his 85 year old uncle. Probably could add quite a bit to that. As uberbookmeister AMW Rosenbach said 'a book is worth what somebody is willing to pay..' or was it 'A book is worth what you can get for it?" [ W/Q *** ]

Update note/ May 2007. I have had several emails from old soldiers and their sons looking for this. It is resolutely unfindable although a copy seems to have gone through ebay recently for about $50 so watch the skies. They should reprint it. Meanwhile here is a verse from the book, probably a dedication at the front:
A steak of silver in the sky...the engines roar...propellers try...
To lift the giant screaming plane...above the mountains drenched with rain..
Black ominous clouds and gale winds blow...amid the ice and swirling snow..
As plane and crew, with every breath...tries to win a fight with death...
To climb above the snow capped peak...a place not far for the very weak...
The plane is in a mighty grip...the crew can hear the metal rip...
As suction lifts them like a kite...above the peaks into the night...
Then, just as quickly dropped like snow...into the jutting rocks below...
Time has run out for plotted goals...a cry aloud,"God save our souls"!...
A crash like thunder, a flash of light...then silence in the blackened night...
Crumpled engines, wings and tail...help pave the "Hump's" Aluminum Trail...
A dog tag here...a jacket there, a picture worn by love and care...
A parachute unopened lay...no time to jump, no time to pray...
In this far, forgotten place, of jungles, mountains, rocks and space...
The wreckage lay like broken toys...discarded by mischievous boys...
And boys they were of tender years...and families weep in silent tears...
To know the sacrifice they made...the part their gift for freedom played...
Lieutenants, Captains, Sergeants too...Privates, maintenance, or crew...
Whatever rank, whatever job...they did their best with each heart throb...
Some gave their lives to save a friend...a brother to the very end...
They gave their lives, so we might live...what more can any person give.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Dad and I have been searching for this book for quite some time. He's 87, a former Hump Pilot; I would like to find it for so we can read it together.
All said.
Any information or help would be appreciated.

Bookride said...

Thanks. I wish I could help your Dad and you but it's a really difficult book- almost unknown to libraries even. You cd try yr local one where they have access to huge databases that the net doesnt have or possibly an old airman's site where someone may have it. Good luck--Nigel

ALSO http://www.navylib.com/Hump.htm has this extract from the book and there is good info at the CNAC site ( http://www.cnac.org/booksetc01.htm)

A steak of silver in the sky...the engines roar...propellers try...

To lift the giant screaming plane...above the mountains drenched with rain..

Black ominous clouds and gale winds blow...amid the ice and swirling snow..

As plane and crew, with every breath...tries to win a fight with death...

To climb above the snow capped peak...a place not far for the very weak...

The plane is in a mighty grip...the crew can hear the metal rip...

As suction lifts them like a kite...above the peaks into the night...

Then, just as quickly dropped like snow...into the jutting rocks below...

Time has run out for plotted goals...a cry aloud,"God save our souls"!...

A crash like thunder, a flash of light...then silence in the blackened night...

Crumpled engines, wings and tail...help pave the "Hump's" Aluminum Trail...

A dog tag here...a jacket there, a picture worn by love and care...

A parachute unopened lay...no time to jump, no time to pray...

In this far, forgotten place, of jungles, mountains, rocks and space...

The wreckage lay like broken toys...discarded by mischievous boys...

And boys they were of tender years...and families weep in silent tears...

To know the sacrifice they made...the part their gift for freedom played...

Lieutenants, Captains, Sergeants too...Privates, maintenance, or crew...

Whatever rank, whatever job...they did their best with each heart throb...

Some gave their lives to save a friend...a brother to the very end...

They gave their lives, so we might live...what more can any person give.

from the book "The Aluminum Trail" by Chic Marrs Quinn
(~Note sometimes Chick)

edgelady said...

My Dad flew the Hump - he passed in 1986. I've come across some old letters he wrote to Mom, but am going slowly through them. I don't recall him saying all that much about the experience and I'm now wanting to learn more about that area of WWII.

Dede

Anonymous said...

My Uncle Irwin "Zipper Zaetz" lost his life on the Aluminum Trail. The wreckage recently found after much work by my cousin Gary Zaetz. Hoping for full recovery of wreckage in Spring 2009. He has one surviving sibling & his widow in their mid-late eighties.

Anonymous said...

An alternative is "Flying the Hump" at Amazon.com and Bookfinder.com has it cheaper plus other items with these words in the title.

Anonymous said...

There is a seller on Amazon who is selling copies of this book for $35. I just ordered my copy and am hoping to see it soon!

ositarose@usa.net said...

I looked for this book for years. It is still available on Amazon.com for $34.00. It is a reprint with spiral binding. I bought one recently and am very pleased. The book is what is says, how and where they died. It is a history of every plane that crashed in that theater, what happened to the crew if known, and location of the crash if known. I bought it for my father who piloted a transport over the Hump in 1944-45. Seller is willettr4. When I received the book, it had a flier for a book written by Mr. Willett. If unsuccessful at buying the book through Amazon, Mr. Willett's email address is listed as: willettr@bellsouth. net.

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