In a narrative that flashes between the life of American pilot Ned Thomas and events of World War II, a young man aspires to fly, and confronts a dangerous mission over the highest mountains on Earth - the vast, mythic, murderous Himalayas - the Hump.

Stearman PT-17 Trainer Picture Second Lieutenant Ned Thomas Portrait Hankow Airfield China

"This is the war nobody told you about. These are the Americans who confronted peril every time they climbed into a plane. Far from home, in an alien and hostile setting, these men risked it all. Ned Thomas knows. Not an armchair historian, Thomas is a veteran who lived the dangers of the Himalaya and survived. Thomas’ story will grab you and keep you riveted page after page."

- Robert F. Dorr Mission to Tokyo

"Books on flying the Hump are rare, and just as I say in the Foreword, this is an important addition because the author combines hands-on-throttle insight to explain the complex and confusing events of the day. Highly recommended for buff, scholar, and new beginner in the field!"

- Walter J. Boyne Author/Historian/Former Director of the U.S. Air and Space Museum

“At the heart of this war story lives a love story. Briefly told, enduring, strong, sweetly remembered.”

-Naomi Sokel Zeavin Carmen’s Secret Diary aboard the USS Hornet in 1944

"The Hump is a line drawn across the eastern Himalayas and the forest of Burma by American blood and courage."

-Theodore White Life Magazine, September 11, 1944

Flying My Father’s War


What I need to know is how to steer the airplane.

Also how to take off under jungle conditions, navigate a narrow thread of skyway above the earth’s highest summits as the enemy wreaks havoc with the radio signals, then descend into a lantern-lit landscape and land along a jolting airstrip of dirt and rock. All in a non- pressurized, Depression-tech rattletrap, the C-46 “Flying Coffin.” To fly the treacherous Himalayas, the “Hump,” and not succumb to a crash, vertigo, oxygen deprivation, hellish turbulence or any of the tribes of cannibals lurking on the periphery.

Training for a suicide mission?

No, my father, Ned Thomas, was a World War II Hump pilot, and I’m writing his story.

Read the article

American Veterans Center Interviews Ned and Nedda Thomas

Past Events

Glen L. Martin Aviation Museum Monday Night Series Speaker

When: Monday, August 1, 2016, 6:00 PM

Where: Glenn L Martin Aviation Museum, Martin State Airport, 701 Wilson Point Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220 (More Information available at the Glenn L Martin Aviation Museum website.)

Military Aviation Museum Book signing

When: Saturday May 21 & Sunday May 22, 2016

Where: Military Aviation Museum, Warbirds over the Beach, 1341 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457 (More Information available at the Military Aviation Musuem website.)

Book Signing at The National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016, 12:00 to 4:00 PM

Where: The National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly (Dulles), VA 20151

Vietnam Veterans of America VVA Chapter 227 Speaker

When: Thursday, March 17, 2016, 7:00 PM

Where: Neighbors Restaurant, 262 Cedar Ln, Vienna, VA 22180 (Info call 703-820-8118)

Commemorative Air Force Speaking Appearance

When: Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10:00 AM

Where: Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, 12499 Beverly Ford Rd, Brandy Station, VA 22714

Historic Vienna Speaking Appearance

When: Monday, October 5, 2015, 7:30 PM

Where: Vienna Town Hall, 127 Center St S, Vienna, VA 22180

Appearance and Book Signing

When: Saturday, September 19, 2015, 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Where: National Air and Space Museum, 601 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

About the Author

Nedda R. Thomas

Bringing years of writing and research experience to bear, if something of the poet she also is, Nedda R. Thomas flies her father’s war through his remembrance. In a readable, fast-paced narrative, she conveys the surreal beauty and deadly dangers of the high Himalayas – a story of courage and historical significance, told through the life of a brave man who takes our hearts into the sky.