When are they sending you home?"" (the pilot asked the aerial gunner.) 'I don't know, sir. I volunteered under the impression that I'd be sent back after logging fifty hours over the line."" ""I hear you've done very well, though. How long have you been flying?"" ""I've done nearly four hundred hours as a gunner."" He scowled. ""That's a long time in the back seat. Very unfair. Someone ought to be shot."" ""I hope it won't be me,"" I said grimly. The serial gunner in this dialogue is Arch Whitehouse, author of what must certainly be the definitive recital of air battles in WWI. Author Whitehouse, in fact, helped initiate the term ""dogfight"" when his plane led 30 Allied planes into a fight with even more German planes. The battle was contained within less than a cubic mile of flaming space, insanity and pandemonium...""the air was cluttered with wreckage and tumbling planes...this was the form, spirit, and action of a dogfight."" Whitehouse covers every flying ace, battle, plane and wingstrut involved in the war. Though himself a Britisher, he credits the Americans in the Lafayette Escadrille with some of the most stirring feats, while giving the tactical and strategic palm to his countrymen. The Germans and French are covered with equal thoroughness. This is glory for the purist, in the clipped, tight prose of British authority. Awarded the Distinguished Writing Cross.