The Man Who Would Not Die ; The Remarkable Story of Herschel McKee

Author(s): Stephen Olvey


Herschel McKee's remarkable life story reads like that of a comic-book hero. A daredevil, a leader of men and, above all, a survivor, McKee fought in both World Wars, suffering numerous skirmishes with death. His colourful life included spells as a Foreign Legion soldier, fighter-pilot ace with the elite Lafayette Flying Corps, prisoner-of-war escapee, racing driver, WWII bomber-wing commander and test pilot. His amazing resilience led to him being nicknamed 'The Man Who Would Not Die' while he was still alive. Written in a lively, engaging style, here is the true story of an extraordinary man.

2008. First edition. A fine, unmarked copy in a very good, unclipped d/w with light edge rubbing and a couple of short repaired edge tears.


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Dr Stephen Olvey is a surgeon at the University of Miami Hospital, Florida, where his wife Lynne also works. The subject of this book is Lynne's grandfather. Dr Olvey is the author of Haynes' warmly received Rapid Response, his compelling, funny and sometimes tragic memoir of 40 years as a top motor racing medic.

McKee's early life - running away from home at the age of 16; joining the French Foreign Legion to fight in World War I; a spell in the trenches; becoming an ace pilot, with 12 kills; being shot down, captured and escaping to Switzerland. Life between the wars - returning to his home town of Indianapolis in the US; acting as riding mechanic in the Indy 500-mile race in 1919; racing at Indy until 1937, suffering numerous crashes. Entering World War II - commanding a bomber squadron in England; flying raids over Germany; being decorated by General de Gaulle; surviving a 12,000-foot jump from a crashing aircraft by landing in a haystack. Post-war - flying experimental aircraft, surviving three more crashes; succumbing to complications of a stroke at the age of 67; McKee's funeral, attended by five women who produced evidence of having been married to him. The remarkable story of a man who lived life at the limit.

General Fields

  • : 9781844255108
  • : Haynes Publishing
  • : haynes
  • : 0.567
  • : November 2008
  • : 234mm X 156mm X 33mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 45 b&w
  • : 304
  • : 941.082092
  • : Hardback
  • : Stephen Olvey