Three young Americans from the South volunteer as pilots in the First World War, when flying machines were primitive and the average life expectancy of a pilot less than three weeks. Elliott White Springs of South Carolina, John McGavock Grider of Arkansas and Lawrence Callahan of Kentucky would become known as the 'Three Musketeers' for their hell‑raising, but ultimately they understood that the war would test them in ways they never imagined. After the war Elliott Springs was hailed as one of America's leading aces but wanted no part of glory. Instead he published what he said was the diary of his dead comrade Grider, a book which in 1926 became a huge public sensation. War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator is a classic of its kind but the true story of its authorship is an even more compelling tale of self‑sacrifice and regret amidst the bitter memories of war.

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This film was funded by the South Carolina Humanities Foundation, Arkansas Humanities Foundation, Kentucky Humanities Council, Fedex Corporation, the New Jersey

Humanities Council and the TSC Foundation.