Jim Stark Blog

Book Recommendation

A favorite part of my hobby, “pretending to be a writer” is giving talks to various groups about my books. The organizations include a number of military and aviation clubs because of my Navy flying stories, but also include library groups, service organizations, and book clubs when speaking about my historical fiction novel based on […]

Pinewood Derby

Nothing recalls the growing-up-years of my three sons more than the words “Pinewood Derby.” The Derby was an annual Cub Scout event that teamed fathers (or mothers) with their Scout sons to build a seven-inch race car. The tiny autos coasted down a descending forty-foot track, four abreast in a series of elimination races at […]

A Fate Worse than Death

One of the absolutes in military aviation is you would much rather die than be recognized for making a stupid mistake. A classic pilot error that happens with regrettable frequency is forgetting to lower your landing gear and making an inadvertent wheels-up landing. Oh, the humiliation such a miscue will bring … if you survive. […]

Dilbert Dunker Saves Another Navy Pilot

Pilots making forced landings into the sea during World War II often became disoriented when the aircraft flipped over and sank. To train aviators to survive such a crash, the Navy developed a training device, affectionally known as the Dilbert Dunker. The Dunker was a simulated airplane cockpit mounted on rails above a deep-water swimming […]

The Brilliant

The Brilliant, discussed in the book, The True Adventures of Jim Stark, is a sixty-two foot, two masted schooner. Eight of my fellow Sea Explorer scouts and I went aboard the Brilliant for a week-long cruise when I was fifteen-years-old. The boat, located at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, was built in 1932 to a design by Olin Stephens […]