Pushing the Envelope
The Career of Fighter Ace and Test Pilot Marion Carl
First published in 1994, this stirring autobiography of a fighter and test pilot takes readers full throttle through Carl's imposing list of "firsts." Beginning with his World War II career, he gained such commendations as first Marine Corps ace, among the first Marines ever to fly a helicopter, and first Marine to land aboard an aircraft carrier. His combat duty included the momentous battles at Midway and Guadalcanal. Not one to rest on his laurels, however, he participated in photoreconnaissance operations over Red China in 1955 and flew missions in Vietnam. In peacetime he gamed fame for "pushing the envelope" as a test pilot, adding the world's altitude and peace records to his wartime feats and becoming the first U.S. military aviator to wear a full pressure suit. Such achievements also led to Carl's being the first living Marine admitted to the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor, as well as the first Marine to be named to the Navy Carrier Aviation Test Pilots Hall of Honor. This very readable memoir is as forthright and compelling as the man it chronicles.