'Whither America' is the autobiography of C. Ben Basye, supplemented by a significant amount of relevant history. The nine-decade long life story started on a Missouri farm in the midst of the Great Depression. He was a 15 year old high school graduate in 1943, while World War II was raging. He enlisted for military pilot training in 1944, thus beginning a military career which lasted for almost 43 years. Ben was one of the early U. S. Navy carrier-based jet fighter pilots. Following some nine years as a Navy fighter pilot flying eight different jet and piston engine fighters, he served more than three additional decades. Service as a Navy Aircraft Maintenance Officer was followed by duty as a Naval Reserve Engineering Duty Officer. Some 18 years of this Naval Reserve duty was performed for no pay. He is now a Captain in the Retired Reserve of the U. S. Navy.
Ben is a Professor Emeritus of Engineering, having received a Ph. D. in Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Iowa State University. He also attended five other universities prior to the time at Iowa State. Service as an Engineering Professor totaled 37 years, during which he taught 18 different graduate engineering courses and served as faculty advisor for some 400 graduate engineering students. He has consulted on engineering problems over a significant part of the United States.
'Whither America' details experiences of many U. S. Navy pilots, in addition to experiences of Ben, with emphasis on the World War II and Korean War eras. Several photographs of actual Navy fighter planes which Ben flew are included. A significant part of 'Whither America' recognizes the sacrifices and accomplishments of numerous contemporary Navy pilots, several of whom held the Navy Cross. The recognition of these sacrifices and accomplishments is a primary reason Ben created 'Whither America.'
Based upon his significant experience in education and in our military, and his deep concern related to serious policy failures and colossal blunders in education and military activities, he includes critiques in both education and the 'new military' in the book. Rather detailed reviews of scholarly books related to education, military, and other important areas are included. An important goal of the book is to increase readers understanding of the crucial importance of reforming the failed government education system and of addressing problems associated with the 'new military'.
During the nine decades of Ben's life, two divergent value systems stand out. The first is exemplified by a commitment to the ideals of the founders of the United States and to the willingness to make any sacrifice, including the ultimate sacrifice, required to defend those ideals. The sacrifices of Navy pilots discussed in this book come into clear focus in this regard.
The other value system is reflected by a betrayal of America by trusted institutions and government leaders at the highest levels. This betrayal threatens the very survival of America.
'Whither America' chronicles the stark contrast between the two value systems.