Special Mission #1


Flight manifest for a special mission in December, 1943. Japanese prisoners of war were transported by Captain Chumbley to Brisbane, Australia. Note the name H.V. Kaltenborn, NBC correspondent. Kaltenborn joined Chum in the cockpit for this flight. For the rest of the story order River of January: Figure Eight on Amazon, and at www.river-of-january.com

Shipping free through Wednesday, November 30, by clicking this link.

Gail Chumbley is the author of “River of January,” and the sequel “River of January: Figure Eight.”

Excerpt Friday

River of January: Figure Eight, 192-193

Coming off an early shift at the field, Chum jogged to the parking lot in an attempt to catch Helen before she left for the theater. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, he knew she would wait for him at the Whitby as long as she could. Checking his watch, he saw that the time was one thirty and he rushed, certain he would be home within the hour.

Twisting the knob on the sedan’s radio, Chum heard a smooth harmony serenading from the dashboard speakers, compliments of the Andrew Sisters. “I’ll be with you in apple blossom time . . . I’ll be with you to change your name to mine . . .” The melody somewhat soothed the hurried pilot, and he let up a little on the accelerator. Then a deep, authoritative voice broke in:

We interrupt this program to bring you this special news bulletin. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by air, the White House has just announced. The attack included all naval and military installations on the island of Oahu. We take you now to Washington . . .

Chum could feel his ears grow hot and his stomach rise up to his throat. Sure he would be sick, the pilot swerved into an empty parking lot somewhere near City Hall. Bolting from the driver’s seat, he circled laps around the Chrysler, exhaling panicked clouds of vapor into the cold air. Fighting back a nauseating combination of fear and outrage, Chum quickly jumped back into his sedan, executed a sharp U-turn, and raced back to Floyd Bennett Field.

Congestion at the entry gate gridlocked into utter chaos. Guards couldn’t check personnel fast enough to clear the traffic. As Chum held his place in the creeping congestion, his radio issued updates, apprising him and every other listener of developing events.

“All military personnel are ordered to report for duty. This is not a drill,” affirmed an NBC announcer.

“I’m trying, I’m trying,” he snarled at his dashboard.


Join Gail on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at the Boise Public Library for a 7pm talk on her newest book, River of January: Figure Eight.

Let’s Fly Away


New York, 1936, honeymoon-bound.

Free Shipping on both River of January books through November 30th.


Telephone 208-462-2816


I Know What To Get Them!


Free Shipping until November 30th, for one or both volumes–“River of January,” and “River of January: Figure Eight,” available now until the end of the month for $18.00 each. Call 208-462-2816 to place your order for one or both books with free shipping. (accepting all major credit cards–leave a message if busy)

Return again, in this true story, to an America of another era. Fly through moonlit nights, bask in the ovation of enthusiastic audiences. Soar through enemy skies in the South Pacific, and glide over glistening ice in New York’s newest and most popular theater.

“River of January” winner of the Idaho Author’s Award, 2016. 


Gail Chumbley is the author of River of January, and River of January: Figure Eight.

Spot Check


It hasn’t been long . . .I know. But, anyone finished “Figure Eight?” Anxiously waiting to hear first reviews.

“River of January: Figure Eight,” and Part One, “River of January” are both available at www.river-of-january.com

Also available on Amazon


She’s Not Pointing Her Toe


Is he appraising his aircraft, or perhaps pondering his next mission. It’s hard to say from this old black and white. But she did note on the back of this photo that there was something amiss in her shot. Any proper dancer or skater knows, one must point their toe.

Read the new offering from Gail Chumbley, River of January: Figure Eight. For the full memoir also read River of January, available on Amazon and Kindle, or find our website at www.river-of-january.com.


And He Stood Up

This is from a year ago. It’s always a good time to remember who bears the burden.

Gail Chumbley


Asked by my old high school, I had the privilege of speaking to young people on the eve of Veterans Day. My remarks appear below.

Thank You for inviting me today—It’s good to be back at Eagle High.

On October 23rd, a few weeks ago, U.S. Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler of Oklahoma was fatally wounded in a rescue mission freeing Isis-held hostages in Iraq. He died after rushing into a firefight to support the allied Kurdish soldiers he had trained and advised. Secretary of Defense, Asthon Carter, later described the chaotic events that cost this soldier’s his life.

“As the compound was being stormed, the plan was not for U.S. … forces to enter the compound or be involved in the firefight. However, when a firefight ensued, this American did what I’m very proud that Americans do in that situation . . . he ran to the sound of the…

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But Wait, There’s More . . .


River of January: Figure Eight is headed home to Garden Valley, Idaho. Join us on November 13th at the Garden Valley Library, 85 Old Crouch Road at 3:30pm. Following the book presentation the party moves to Two Rivers Restaurant, 1049 Old Crouch Road, 462-3770, for book signing, live jazz, cash bar and a full menu. Enjoy  the sultry vocals of Nicole Christensen Pettinger, performing popular war-era standards.

“River of January: Figure Eight” is available at www.river-of-january.com or on Amazon.

Read the first volume, “River of January” on Kindle, or at www.river-of-january.com

Sierra Foxtrot Foxtrot

Day four of the Magical History Tour.

Tonight our new friends at Felt’s Field, in Spokane, Washington welcomed “River of January,” and “River of January: Figure Eight.” A big thanks to Jack Hohner and the great folks at EAA. We love our pilots.

River of January is available in hard copy and on Kindle. River of January: Figure Eight  is in hard copy..