About

I was born in GeP1030630 (2)orgia way too long ago.  My parents could never decide if the first word I ever said was “airplane” or “star” which only shows I’ve been an aerospace nut from the beginning.  Along the path of life I’ve acquired degrees in mathematics and law.  I’ve worked as a restaurant manager, an insurance rater, a stable hand, a flight school dispatcher, a proofreader and copy editor, pizza delivery driver, a paralegal and an engineering technician.  At present I live in Hickory, NC, with a wonderful woman who loves me despite my (many!) flaws.  In all my spare time I volunteer at the Hickory Aviation Museum and pursue my omnivorous tastes in reading.

11 responses to “About

  1. George Johnson

    Are you going to continue the No Merciful War Series. I found it an excellent read, and hope that you do. I think I recall “The New Boys” as I title I have not been able to find as of yet referenced at the end of the third book in the series.

    S/F,

    LtCol Johnson

    • Hi, George! I’m absolutely continuing work on the series. Looking at it last night, there are at least seven more books.

      Truth is, when I issued the fourth book, Thanks for the Memories, I thought I was a lot further along with the fifth book, The New Kids (I changed the title). Then life happened, as I’m sure you’ve experienced! Health issues, semi-retirement, aging relatives, other commitments.

      Anyway, The New Kids is taking shape. I’m working on the 2nd Draft now, and I’m pretty sure I can have it done before Christmas, barring accidents.

      Preview of coming attractions: Some of the characters in Jimmy’s flight, as well as Jimmy himself, will return in CARTWHEEL, set against the campaign against Rabaul (a Marine probably knows about Cape Gloucester, part of Operation CARTWHEEL) and Charlie Davis will see action with the RAF Bomber Command. Haven’t finalized a title on that one yet; working title “POINTBLANK Part One.” Then Jack Davis is training a bunch of new pilots to go to Europe in Nos Credimus (brush up on your Latin!). Those are the next three books. Won’t say further, and no idea on order of appearance.

      BTW, do you know a Colonel Huggins? USMC? He’s the son of a friend of mine who’s also a fan, Lawrence Huggins, BG, USAF-Ret.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your inquiry and your interest! It really helps me keep going.

      Best regards,

      Tom Burkhalter

  2. George Wolf

    I greatly enjoyed the No Merciful War Series. In fact, I read all four, one after the other, and reached for the fifth and it wasn’t there! Glad to hear it should be out around Christmas; a great gift for me. Please keep writing and I promise to keep reading.

  3. Laurin Boyer

    There is a book about Senator Johnson, later to be president who was sent to Australia to find out why the bombers were having such difficulties. He rode in a bombing run and they came back shot up. There was no new parts and the bottleneck was found to be the Australian longshoremen failure to offload ships in a timely manner. No work weekends or in rain, numerous coffee breaks, etc. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the book.

    • Hi, Laurin! Thanks for the tip. I remember reading something about LBJ’s trip to the SW Pacific, but the only thing I remember for sure is that he went out with the 22nd Bomb Group in an airplane called “Heckling Hare.” And yeah, I think you’re right about the Aussie longshoremen. Something about union rules, maybe?

  4. Darrell Cowles

    Just finished reading The New Kids and I am disappointed. Not in the books, but rather there is no book#6 out yet! You have wrecked my free time because I couldn’t put any of your books down. Superior plot and a very human way of telling the stories; the best I have read in many years, and I have probably read 35 historical fiction and non-ficton books about WWII. I am a fan! Thank you!

    • Thanks, Darrell! I really appreciate that. So you know, I’m work on Book 6, titled Shoestring’s End. I’m going to try hard to have it done by Christmas, but no promises. Glad you liked the books!

  5. Hal W. Hall

    Good Day, Mr Burkhalter,

    It has been my pleasure over the last few weeks to read your No Merciful War series. Congratulations. You have done a masterful job in creating a vivid picture of the war and conditions of war in the Southwest Pacific in the early years of the war. It is particularly touching to my sister and I, giving us a sense of that bit of World War II. Our brother, Earl Oxford Hall, was in the USAAF during the early years, from being in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field, the long flight from Hawaii to New Caledonia, and the air war in the Solomons until he was lost in February 1943 off Choiseul Island.

    In 2001, I was finally able to track down what happened on that final mission, with the help of the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB. Until then, all the family had was second-hand, and incorrect, information. Our search was limited by the fact that his personnel records were among those burned in the 1970s.

    In the course of my research, I read many first-hand documents on the South Pacific war, many unit histories, and a number of other USAAF documents and histories. I developed a good appreciation of what that theater of battle was like.

    As I read through your books, I was deeply impressed by your ability to evoke the conditions and to create the “look and feel” of those jungle airstrips, and the sheer horror of the air battles. Like Charlie, my brother Earl was a B-17 pilot, and no doubt experienced many of the tales you tell in the books. For my sister and me, reading about Charlie gave us a clear picture of the life Earl lived in the Solomons.

    One of the by-products of my research was to contact and meet some of the families of the ten crew members on Earl’s B-17. Those connections have been good for all of us, and led some of us to write biographies of our lost family members. There are four biographies now, preserving their stories for the future. Those biographies are in the archive link below, along with the history documents.

    Another by-product was to digitize and archive many historical documents of the 42nd Bombardment Squadron. If you care to look at what is there, the web address is: http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/91130 under the general title: 42nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) 11th Bombardment Group, 7th Air Force, 1941-1946

    We are looking forward to additional books as you complete them.

    Hal W. Hall

  6. Robert Morse

    I have read and re-read the first six books of the No Merciful War series. Your characters come alive on the page! I look forward to reading more of the series and more of your books. I’m greedy and want more! Thanks for doing a great job!

    • Hi, Robert, many thinks for those kind words and for reading! I’m working on the seventh book now, and hope to have it out before the end of the year, if not sooner. FYI, there should be another six books in the series, including the one I’m working on now. Thanks again!

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