On January 27, 1943, nineteen-year-old Dick Harper received orders to report to
Miami Beach, Florida, to begin Aviation Cadet training, with the lofty goal of
becoming a combat pilot in the United States Army Air Corps. He’s leaving the
security of his hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina for strange, unknown
places and an uncertain future, with the ultimate purpose of fighting a war.
It was a huge turning point in his life.
In The Cream, Harper offers a retrospective of his personal experiences
in Aviation Cadet training during World War II. He details his odyssey
as he travels from a small Southern town and experiences the dangerous
and exciting days and months of pilot training. He shares the disappointments
and triumphs, humor and pathos, of his quest for the coveted Silver Wings of a
combat pilot. He provides a frontline, inside view, of the rigors and exhilaration
of this training.
A memoir, The Cream narrates the hopes, frustrations, camaraderie, and
ideals of the young men who earned, or attempted to earn, Silver Wings as pilots
in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.