A thick and reverent life story of the modern US Air Force, by a couple of veterans, that gives flying the James Michener treatment as it takes five or six flyers representing the major ethnic groups from the birth of the service to the space age, Mike Kelly and Millard ""Wash"" Washington are plane-crazy teen-agers from East St. Louis who work at the same service station. Mike's Irish Catholic and ""Wash"" is--surprise!--black. Both of them want to fly more than anything in the world, and both of them head for the new Air Force, but time and their circumstances put them on different tracks. Mike's got to tough his way along, constantly having problems thrown in his path by ""Duke Brown,"" a West Point man and rising star from a hotshot military family. ""Duke's"" problem seems to be that flying makes him vomit. Meanwhile, ""Wash"" wonders if his meteoric rise is just window dressing for the newly integrated Air Force. Sharing the big stage with Mike, Wash, and Duke are Larry White, a nice guy who just wants to fly but can't manage service politics; Jim Garvey, who marries the only Jew in the book (she dies young); and Don Picard, a top-notch, dedicated flight mechanic and the only enlisted man (other than a refugee from the Washington, D.C., ghetto) who gets his life straightened out by Mike Kelly sometime during the early 70's. This clone for a miniseries never really takes off.