Wicked Son

Fighting Back: Stan Andrews and the Birth of the Israeli Air Force

By Jeffrey Weiss, Craig Weiss

Fighting Back is the story of Stan Andrews, an assimilated American Jew and World War II veteran who became one of the first fighter pilots in the history of the Israeli Air Force.

In 1948, Stan Andrews left a comfortable postwar life in Los Angeles to travel to the war-torn Middle East, where a four-front Arab invasion threatened to destroy the newly-declared State of Israel. There he joined the Israeli Air Force and became one of its first fighter pilots. Andrews was an unexpected volunteer for the fight for a Jewish state. He was many things—an artist, writer, assimilated Jew, ladies’ man, pilot, and combat veteran of the Pacific War. He had previously been aloof from the struggle for Jewish independence but found himself so roused by the anti-Semitism of 1940s America that he decided to go to Israel and risk everything. Stan made the most of his time in Israel, serving in fighter and bomber squadrons and leaving his mark on an Israeli Air Force that has since become the stuff of legend.