Tara Copp is the Pentagon correspondent for Stars and Stripes. She has reported from the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and has appeared on BBC, FOX and C-SPAN to discuss military issues. Tara is a Plan II Honors Program graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and was editor of The Daily Texan. She earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in Security Studies. Her first book was "The Daily Texan, The first 100 Years." (Eakin Press, 1999.) She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.
I first started shooting records at the National Archives about 10 years ago, but really went full speed in 2009, spending entire weekends and any weeknight time I had there. I put them all up on my website, www.taracopp.com. That website has a life of its own now, even though I don’t have as much time to put new records up there anymore. There are now more than 30,000 mission reports or related World War II documents or photographs on it, and last year, visitors clicked on the images more than 790,000 times (and more than 800,000 times in 2015.) Every war mission is up there for free and can be downloaded by anyone. I consider it a way to honor my grandfather and a way to spread this war history far and wide.
I still get emails from people who have found the National Archives mission reports on my website. They are either looking for help, or reaching out in gratitude because their fathers or grandfathers also never talked about the war. They're writing because they’ve just found a mission report with their family’s name on it. I know how they feel when they first see that name. I love those moments.
Pledge Level 1: "The Single Ship" - $18
1 earlybird hardcover copy of "The WARBIRD" by Tara Copp.
Pledge Level 2: "The Two Ship" - $20
1 hardcover copy of "The WARBIRD" by Tara Copp.
Pledge Level 3: "The Three Ship" - $50
1 hardcover copy of "The WARBIRD" with a signature from Tara Copp. Proceeds will go to launching Squadron Books and the Post-Kickstarter launch of "The WARBIRD"!
Pledge Level 4: "The Four Ship" - $75
Exclusive phone interview with Tara Copp + 1 hardcover copy of "The Warbird", ask her questions about her journey over the last decade researching her family's history, her time in Iraq, and time as a Journalist/Reporter.
Pledge Level 5: "The Squadron" - $150
Exclusive B-24 "The Warbird" canvas wrap + 1 hardcover copy of "The WARBIRD" book. Designed by SquadronPosters.com artist Michael Ross. The canvas wrap is 20" tall x 30" wide and is wrapped around a 1.25" solid core. It ships ready to hang on the wall with self leveling hangar, beautiful frameless wrap-around canvas, no additional frame needed!
Pledge Level 6: The Custom Painted Leather Jacket - $1,000
We will custom paint a Army Air Corps style Bomber Jacket for you + You get a hardback copy of the Warbird.
First issued to the U.S. Army aviators in 1931 and worn by flight crews throughout World War II, the A-2 flight jacket was reissued by the U.S. Air Force in 1987. Made exclusively for Hammacher Schlemmer by Cockpit USA, the current supplier of leather jackets to the Air Force, this updated classic version has a rugged outer shell of lambskin. The hefty jacket is cut for a generous fit and its poly-fiber fill provides cold-season comfort with a snap-down collar, epaulets, zip-up front with wind flap, two front cargo pockets (top and side entry), and knit 80% acrylic/20% polyester cuffs and waistband. It also has a hidden pen pocket under the left pocket flap and two inside chest pockets. The 100% polyester lining is printed with a pilot’s escape map of England and occupied Europe. Underarm grommets provide ventilation. Imported. Men’s sizes S (36), M (38-40), L (42), XL (44-46), or XXL (48-50). (6 lbs.)
Pledge Level 7: Tara Copp Guest Speaker- $3,000
Invite Tara out to be a guest speaker at a corporate event or a significant historical event. Price includes airfare for CONUS events, OCONUS may be an option, please contact us with specifics!
History of Aviator Storytelling:
Ever since World War I, pilots starting in the Army Air Corps, have assembled around the squadron bar, perfecting the art of storytelling. Each day, the beer light comes on signaling the last plane has landed. The aircrew assembled in the bar, usually located on the flight line, but any room will do. After the first beer or a shot of whiskey, the stories started flowing. These stories are passed on, but if they're not written down, they disappear. Squadron Books is a movement started by two military pilots to help tell these Airmen's stories.
Tara Has a Story to Share.
Tara Copp came to us after she turned down a "Top-5" publisher, they wanted her to change her story, tell a different version so it would sell better. After we read a draft of The WARBIRD, we knew this story needed to be told as she wrote it. These stories are disappearing everyday, Tara put in 10 years of work to keep her family's alive. With Tara's story THE WARBIRD in hand we realized that so many airmen's stories are not being told due to the lack of an outlet. Squadron Books wants to be the outlet.
Airmen Have a Story to Share.
The Navy, Marine Corp and the Army out publish the Air Force by a margin of 5 to 1. We want to change that. Airmen have amazing stories to tell and they just need a canvas to do so. We are the aviators' niche market. Strap in, enjoy the ride, fight's on. It's not just Tara's story of lost connection, it's all of ours. It's everyone who had someone passed and each year their stories get retold shorter, and with less detail, until they disappear altogether. Visit us at www.squadronbooks.com
- Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to help, send us an email email@example.com and we'll see what we can do!
- Are you an author and know how to tell a story? Airmen need your help, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work to connect you with that story.
Thank you for supporting The Warbird, and a Squadron Books story, together we can cement these not just as a family story, but as history.
Behind the Scenes
Here is the "Mind-Map" of The WARBIRD, after reading her book we mapped out the concepts and this is what inspired the book trailer. There is dominate themes of lost connection, seeking understanding, and even though loved ones are gone...it's still not too late to discover their story.
Risks and challenges
The challenges we face are the same when Tara began the project 10 years ago. Finding lost connection, and communicating that in a story that must be told. Traditional publishers think outdated when it comes to social media marketing, printing and distribution channels. We wanted to try a different route than dust covered book signings by putting an aviators spin of business doused in jet fuel on the plan. Kickstarter is the fuel truck!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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