Richard K. Smith received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Airships Akron and Macon: Flying Aircraft Carriers of the United States Navy, the award-winning First Across! The U.S. Navy’s Transatlantic Flight of 1919 and numerous articles on the history of aeronautics. He died before completing the manuscript of Five Down, No Glory.