Once an Eagle

Published in 1968 by Anton Myrer

Once an Eagle is the story of a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self-interest. Massengale, on the other hand, advances by making connections behind the lines and in Washington's corridors of power. Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies during peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War II, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War – Vietnam.

This book is required reading for West Point and Marine Corps cadets. Though not an Air Force story, the saga of these two officers clearly resonated with our Airmen as representative of the many ways our Core Values permeate our lives as service members.

Gen Welsh

CSAF Message

No fewer than 31 Airmen felt that Once an Eagle was a must-read…and it is indeed a timeless story of leadership, and of values in action (both good and otherwise!). So here it is. I promise, once you crack it, you won't be able to put it down.

Anton Myrer

About The Author

Anton Myrer (1922-1996) was a student at Harvard University when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps immediately after the Pearl Harbor attacks. He served for three years during World War II, until he was wounded in the Pacific. He is also the author of the novels The Big War, The Last Convertible, and A Green Desire.