Winged Brothers

Naval Aviation as Lived by Ernest and Macon Snowden

  • Subject: Summer 2024 Sale
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Published:
    November 15, 2018
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9 × 6 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    20 oz
Hardcover $33.95
Member Price $27.16 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


Winged Brothers recounts the service exploits of two brothers over more than forty years of naval aviation history in both peace and war. They were deeply committed to each other and to advancing their chosen profession, but due to the vast difference in their ages and the fourteen years between their respective graduations from the U.S. Naval Academy, they experienced carrier aviation from very different perspectives.   

The older brother, Ernest, entered naval aviation in an era of open-cockpit biplanes when the Navy’s operations from aircraft carriers were still taking form when Fleet Problems were still the primary means of determining aviation’s warfighting utility and proving its merits to the fleet. Macon’s story guides the reader through the Navy’s transition from piston-engine aircraft to jets.

For the entirety of their time in uniform, the one constant was a close fraternal bond that saw Ernest as mentor and Macon as devoted admirer and protégé, only to see those roles recede as the younger brother’s achievements transcended those of the older brother. Through personal letters, official reports, first-hand accounts, and first-person interviews, their symbiotic relationship is revealed to the reader. 

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“Excellent workmanship by both the author and the Naval Institute Press. A well-researched book, there is ample documentation in notes, an extensive bibliography, an index, and an abbreviated author’s biography that does not do justice to the author’s own distinguished career. Highly recommended.”—Military Writers Society of America
"This is one of the most fascinating naval aviation histories because it is viewed through the lives of two brothers and written by the son of one of the brothers, who was himself a later naval aviator. The progress of naval aviation development from the 1930s to the 1970s was amazing and has been described as part of the telling of the stories of two aviators' lives. Much Recommended." —FIRE Reviews
"A unique and intrinsically fascinating story, Winged Brothers: Naval Aviation as Lived by Ernest and Macon Snowden. It is interesting to note that this biography of two brothers takes place with a military perspective and framework that is itself inherently interesting and informative ... Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections." —Midwest Book Review
"The Snowden brothers are part of Naval Aviation history in distinct but interlocking periods, each of which needed their individual talents and dedication. I am glad to finally see their story so well told." —Rear Admiral E.L. Whitey Feightner, USN (Ret), World War II fighter pilot and Ace
"Winged Brothers is a Naval Aviation treasure! This is a fascinating account of two extraordinary combat leaders, and the significant contribution each made to carrier aviation. Woven into this narrative is a superb description of carrier development and operations, as seen through the combat experiences of these fine men." —Rear Admiral John P. Cryer, USN (Ret.) Chairman, The Prowler Association
2019 Military Writers Society of America Award - Second Place (Silver Medal) in the history category.
Winged Brothers is a fine addition to the growing list of biographies of Naval Aviators who had stellar careers in the service of their nation.” —The Hook
Winged Brothers is a riveting read for someone interested in the history of naval aviation and the changes that took place over the years. The author describes the changes in the flight decks of the aircraft carriers to accommodate the new planes, the evolution from biplanes to monoplanes, and eventually jet aircraft. The book gives an in-depth look at naval aviation and the role the Snowden brothers played in helping it evolve into the force it is today.” —Air & Space Power Journal