I would like to introduce my second novel entitled, Bandits Below. The book is an historical fiction set primarily in Nicaragua in mid-1920s. There, in 1927, Marines first undertake integrating their air and ground forces in pursuit of the bandit, Augusto Caesar Sandino. The book contains many actual photos of the campaign donated from the Marine Corps History Division, 11 original maps and conversations by both warring parties. Together, they bring to life this little known, yet significant piece of U.S. history.
The protagonist, Christian Schilt, rises from the rank of private first class as a gunner in a biplane, searching for German submarines in the Atlantic, to a first lieutenant, being the Marine Corps’ top pilot and receiving a Medal of Honor in this final Banana War. The book’s story line is filled with thrilling characters, adventures and patriotism. The human elements of humor, frustration, impatience, and affection warmly transform this often-tense story of yesteryear into a very pertinent modern-day, edge-of-your-seat thriller.
By November 2017, the book will be ready for the reader to experience the day-to-day, hour-to-hour fight by Sandino and his rag tag bandits against the US Marines and their superior training and weaponry; yet, at any moment, the outcome of each skirmish is unknown. The book brings an awareness of the camaraderie that develops among Marines where unquestioning trust is exchanged in the most dangerous situations. The aviators transform themselves from air-race participants to a multi-mission, integral component of an air-ground team.
Bandits Below will have great appeal to current and former members of the armed forces, aviation enthusiasts, and historians, simply because this story has not been told in the detail before.