Danger in the Clouds starts out when Joe Donnellan is 13 years old.
The book continues to move, chapter by chapter, through Joe's exciting
true-life story. It tells how Joe tried to enlist as a pilot for the
U.S. Army Air Force during WW1 at the age of 16. Joe was turned down, so
he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and flew for them till the end of
WW1. Joe was discharged with the rank of Captain. Joe was now 18 years
old and decided to buy a war surplus "Jenny" and became a "flying
barnstormer" in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.
Joe becomes a mail pilot, in between some various other commercial
flying ventures, and has a very harrowing adventure when he is forced to
land on the ice in Lake Michigan.
Joe never knew a stranger, always meeting and greeting people with
his big, good looking Irish smile. Joe's flying career paralleled that
of another friend and mail pilot, Charles Lindbergh.
Joe continued his involvement into commercial aviation ventures with
a major attempt to establish commercial air routes from Chicago to South
America. Joe made a flight from Chicago, through major cities in the
U.S., all the way to Cuba, in an effort to establish working
relationships with mayors and influential people who could set up proper
airports for commercial traffic.
Joe also conducted a few flying schools. Tragically, Joe was
instructing one of his student pilots when, at the height of 300 ft over
an airfield in Illinois, the student pilot "froze" at the stick and
stalled the airplane, causing it to dive into the ground, killing both
Joe and the student pilot. Joe was 29 years old!