Carl Gamble, a premier airline pilot, has penned a remarkable memoir with Bob Rogers, a powerful story about Gamble’s journey from the cotton fields of Madison County, Alabama, to the captain’s seat flying
jumbo jets between North America and Europe. While in grade school, Gamble was inspired by jet fighters flying over Madison from a near-by Air Force Base and his dream to become a pilot was born. Gamble’s hard and focused work overcame an inauspicious start studying aviation at Tennessee State University, a stepping stone toward a flying career for African Americans of small means in the 1960s.
Gamble was awarded the Air Force’s coveted Distinguished Flying Cross. His quick thinking and superior flying skills enabled him to land his C-47, severely disabled by enemy antiaircraft fire, and save the lives of his crew in Vietnam.
My Blue Yonder tells Gamble’s story by taking you to his boyhood home, into the cockpit of his crippled plane, and into his PTSD. You fly with him to rescue men adrift on an ice floe in Lake Superior, refuel combat aircraft at four hundred miles per hour over the Gulf of Tonkin, and negotiate with a hijacker while flying in a holding pattern off the coast of Florida.
A memorable quote passed through generations of pilots, and a favorite of Gamble’s, is, “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.” Similarly, there are pilots who have landed burning airplanes and there are pilots who have been hijacked. Gamble is potentially the first pilot to experience both.
More about Carl Gamble
Carl Gamble, a former aviator, is an author and a motivational speaker for youth. Carl is a former US Air Force captain and veteran of the Vietnam War. From supersonic aircraft to jumbo jets, Carl’s planes include one destroyed by enemy fire and a hijacked airliner. His Alma Mater is Tennessee State University. Carl and his wife live in Matthews, North Carolina.