Robert C. Mikesh was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, on February 24, 1928 and resided there until joining the U.S. Air Force in 1949. Aviation had always been his avid hobby, and it was during these early years of his life that he collected this material on aviation matters in Iowa. Mr. Mikesh served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years, during which time he was assigned for eight years in the Far East and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, he served as an Air Liaison Officer with VNAF for part of that time. His military experience included flying night intruder B-26s with the 17th Bombardment Wing in Korea, and serving as a Forward Air Controller while flying O-2As with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron in Vietnam. With an accumulation of 9000 flying hours in many types of aircraft, his high-time aircraft is the Martin B-57 Canberra, flown at various assignments over a 15 year span.After retirement from the Air Force in 1970, Mr. Mikesh fulfilled a near lifetime ambition by joining the staff of the National Air and Space Museum. His responsibilities in this capacity included ensuring that the aircraft being restored for the museum were complete and exact in every detail ranging from internal accessories and structural repair, to exterior colors and markings. Adding historical and technologically significant aircraft to the Museumâ€™s collection was also one of his duties. As an author, he is a frequent contributor to various aviation magazines on diverse aeronautical subjects. His best known specialty, however, deals generally with Japanese aviation subjects. He was written twelve aviation books, including Zero Fighter and The B-57 Canberra at War.