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review 2017-11-02 12:02
The Balloon Buster - Norman S. Hall

"THE BALLOON BUSTER" is a slim biography - told by the author with some dramatic flourishes - about America's No. 2 fighter ace of the First World War: Frank Luke, Jr. of Phoenix, Arizona (1897-1918).


Luke's combat record with the 27th Aero Squadron is all the more remarkable because between September 12, 1918 and September 29, 1918, Luke scored the bulk of his 18 confirmed victories over the Western Front. The bulk of these victories were against the German Drachen or observation balloons, which were highly dangerous to attack because they were heavily protected by anti-aircraft artillery and machine guns -- as well as by a covering flight of German fighters. These 'Drachen' (which carried an observer) were used to great effect to spot Allied artillery over the battlefield, whose positions could then be accurately pinpointed and destroyed - thus playing a significant role in the outcome of any battle or offensive.

Luke, who had been assigned to the 27th Aero Squadron in July 1918 (then commanded by Harold Hartney, with whom Luke developed a rapport; Hartney later commanded the First Pursuit Group. of which the 27th was a part), was regarded as a 'lone wolf' by his squadron mates. He was a bold, intrepid pilot who claimed an unconfirmed victory the following month, which further alienated him from his fellow pilots. They regarded Luke as a braggart and a non-conformist. But no-one could deny his skills as a fighter pilot and (after September 12, 1918) his bravery. Luke teamed up with Lt. Joseph Wehner (the 2 men proved to be kindred spirits) and over a 6 day period during the Battle of St. Mihiel, formed one of the most effective 1-2 teams of any fighter squadron in the United States Army Air Service (USAS) on the Western Front. Between September 12 and September 18, 1918 (when Wehner was killed in a dogfight protecting Luke while Luke was attacking German observation balloons over the battlefront), Luke was credited with shooting down 10 Drachen and 3 enemy planes. What makes this record all the more remarkable is that in the course of the September 18th mission alone, Luke shot down 2 Drachen and 3 enemy planes!

Luke was distraught over Wehner's death and was given a 2-week leave in Paris. But Luke was restless. He cut his leave short and returned to his unit. On his last mission over the lines (September 29th, 1918), Luke dropped a note to an American unit. The note contained the following message: "Watch three Hun balloons on the Meuse. Luke." Well, Luke attacked those 3 balloons and shot them down! (These victories were confirmed by that American unit). Sadly, Luke was gravely wounded and crash landed in a village behind German lines. Rather than surrender, Luke shot it out with a group of German soldiers who returned fire and killed him.

On the whole, "THE BALLOON BUSTER" - though told with some hyperbole - was an interesting book to read.


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text 2017-07-28 11:39
2017 Global Balloon Dilator Market Is Expected To Generate Huge Profits.

Global Balloon Dilator Market Research Report 2017” is a professional and incisive analysis on the market dynamics of the Global Balloon Dilator Market industry and future growth prospects of the key market players across the global. The study offers detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the industry by offering an overview of key market conditions and statistics on market estimations. An in-depth insight into the industry overview is offered in the study in terms of product definition and classification, applications analysis and manufacturing technology. The market participants can going through the study explore the profile of international market players in terms of their capacity utilization, market shares of the major segments, growth opportunities and challenges they need to overcome to gain a foothold in the market.


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In this report, the global Balloon Dilator market is valued at USD XX million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of XX% between 2016 and 2022.


Geographically, this report is segmented into several key Regions, with production, consumption, revenue (million USD), market share and growth rate of Balloon Dilator in these regions, from 2012 to 2022 (forecast), covering

North America




Southeast Asia



Global Balloon Dilator market competition by top manufacturers, with production, price, revenue (value) and market share for each manufacturer; the top players including

Boston Scientific


Cook Medical

Bard Medical



On the basis of product, this report displays the production, revenue, price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into

By Type

Compliance Balloon

Non Compliance Balloon

By Material




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Table of Content


1 Balloon Dilator Market Overview

1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Balloon Dilator

1.2 Balloon Dilator Segment By Type

1.2.1 Global Balloon Dilator Production and CAGR (%) Comparison By Type (Product Category)(2012-2022)

1.2.2 Global Balloon Dilator Production Market Share By Type (Product Category) in 2016

1.2.3 Compliance Balloon

1.2.4 Non Compliance Balloon


2 Global Balloon Dilator Market Competition by Manufacturers

2.1 Global Balloon Dilator Capacity, Production and Share by Manufacturers (2012-2017)

2.1.1 Global Balloon Dilator Capacity and Share by Manufacturers (2012-2017)

2.1.2 Global Balloon Dilator Production and Share by Manufacturers (2012-2017)

2.2 Global Balloon Dilator Revenue and Share by Manufacturers (2012-2017)

2.3 Global Balloon Dilator Average Price by Manufacturers (2012-2017)


3 Global Balloon Dilator Capacity, Production, Revenue (Value) by Region (2012-2017)

3.1 Global Balloon Dilator Capacity and Market Share by Region (2012-2017)

3.2 Global Balloon Dilator Production and Market Share by Region (2012-2017)

3.3 Global Balloon Dilator Revenue (Value) and Market Share by Region (2012-2017)

3.4 Global Balloon Dilator Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2012-2017)

3.5 North America Balloon Dilator Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2012-2017)


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review 2017-04-14 21:32
The Girl with the Red Balloon
The Girl with the Red Balloon - Katherine Locke

Sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum and her classmates are visiting Germany. When she spots a red balloon, she tells her best friend to take a picture so she can show her grandfather when she returns to the United States. But by grabbing that red balloon Ellie is taken back in time to East Berlin in 1988. There she meets members of an organization who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the wall to West Berlin. But to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. Eventually it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history and Ellie wants to do everything she can to stop them, even if it means never returning home again.

There are three points-of-view: Ellie's when she briefly travels to Germany in present time then travels back to 1988 where the rest of her story is told, Kai's who is a Runner, someone who helps people get over the wall, and Benno's back in the 1940's in a Polish ghetto. This is such an interesting concept - using balloons to send people over the Berlin Wall. But there was something about this book that didn't quite make it as enjoyable as I'd hoped. I liked the characters, but I felt as though, except for Benno, we only scratched the surface of who they really were. The writing itself was just okay - sometimes the characters were overly dramatic. I think this book may appeal more to younger readers.

Thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company for a copy of this book.

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