Wings of Gold is a unique contribution to the history of Naval aviation. The book sets out the almost day-to-day experiences and reactions of a cadet who went through the training program at its peak during World War II. An emphasis on training per se is missing in virtually all books dealing with the war; in this account training is the focus of interest. In contrast with official histories, this is a story of how it was, rather than how it was supposed to be. It chronicles failures as well as successes, frustrations as well as achievements. Beginning with an introduction treating the history of Naval aviation training, it focuses upon the personal experiences of an individual cadet preparing for war. In both the introduction and the personal letters that form the body of the book, the authors have kept both the home front and the battle front in sight.
While millions of Americans underwent military training during World War II, only now is the survival, compilation, and publication of their correspondence becoming the concern of historians. This book should encourage that process.