Logo, Cap Parlier - Historical Novels

Logo, CAP


TO SO FEW Series

The TO SO FEW Series
of Historical Fiction novels
Cap Parlier



                            TO SO FEW is envisioned to be a 12-book series of historical novels – a tapestry woven with the threads of the epic events of the mid-20th century through the experiences of Brian Drummond, an aviator whose youthful enthusiasm for flight and adventure propel him on this journey.  Key events, speeches, documents, news broadcasts and meetings are historically accurate and blended into the storyline to bring the human dimension of history to life for the reader. Brian enjoys relationships that give him access to key military leaders and none other than Winston Churchill as he moves through the military ranks. Likewise, his comrades progress to positions of prominence in the military, politics and government. The prophetic words of Sir Winston Churchill “. . . never in the course of human conflict have so many owed so much, to so few” illuminate meaning far beyond his original context.


BOOK I:  “IN THE BEGINNING”                10.September.1938 - 17.May.1939                  Published        
                    BRIAN DRUMMOND WAS an accomplished aviator in his 17th year on the Great Plains of Kansas.   He learned well and honed his instinctive skills under the expert tutelage of Malcolm Bainbridge, a decorated ace from the Great War.  Brian also acquired from Malcolm a keen sense of world events evolving in Europe and Asia.  Brian’s mentor also had an influential brother in arms from the War to End All Wars, RAF Group Captain John Spencer, who is also a cousin of Winston Churchill. Brian sees and feels what they see, and he sets his course. As soon as he graduates from high school, Brian Drummond will join the RAF to fly the new monoplane fighters.  So begins the story of flight and a warrior’s life.

BOOK II: "THE PRELUDE 4.June.1939 - 5.March.1940 Published
                  BRIAN DRUMMOND – IDEALISTIC, naïve, unworldly and an accomplished aviator – leaves his Kansas home in the spring of 1939 during the last days of peace, crosses the border into Canada, and joins the Royal Air Force.  The last vestiges of Brian's innocence are lost forever as he enters the crucible of war. With the help of one of Churchill's cousins and others, Brian completes his training and gains the assignment he seeks. He joins No.609 Squadron, hones his skills with the elegant but deadly Spitfire Mark I during the Phony War – the lull before all of Europe was engulfed – and becomes a man.  Brian struggles against parents who use U.S. Federal law in a desperate attempt to force their son to return home before its too late; against his emotions boiling within personal conflict and the loss of his mentor; and against a sometimes not-so-subtle discrimination.  Brian makes mistakes, falls victim to the foibles of young men unconstrained by any sense of accountability, and manages to become a valued member of that very small brotherhood of warriors.             

BOOK III: "EXPLOSION"      6.April.1940 - 3.August.1940 Published
                  THE CONFLAGRATION IN Europe began in earnest with the invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. The Royal Air Force pilots of Fighter Command's No.609 Squadron moved from Scotland to London as the German Army blasted its way through the Low Countries and Northern France. The flood of Nazi oppression jumped violently to the next, more ominous level. Brian Drummond, the only American pilot in the Spitfire squadron, experiences the passions of life, and now faces, along withhis fellow aviators, the most formidable air force in the world – the undefeated Luftwaffe. The staggering lightning defeat of the French and British Armies in France and the humiliation of the Dunkirk evacuation established a grim background for the invasion preparations of the Wehrmacht. The Britons took up the task of defense with determined commitment. All able bodied men of all ages drilled with wooden rifles and farm tools since there were no rifles. They were inspired and encouraged by the very public and defiant words of their new prime minister, Winston Churchill – 'We shall never surrender' – as the opening stages of the aerial battle over the United Kingdom begins in what would become known as the Battle of Britain.


NOTE: During the preparation for production, the publisher indicated the submitted manuscript Book IV - "The Trial" was too long and had to be reduced in size.  In September 2016, the original Book IV was split.  The chapters removed from Book IV became the opening chapters of a new Book V provisionally titled: The Verdict.  The Book IV split shifted all subsequent books by one place.  Also, the first four chapters of Deflection were brought forward to flesh out the new Book V - The Verdict.  New sections were added to provide the proper flow of the story and fit within the publisher's desired size constraints.

BOOK IV: "THE TRIAL"                4.August.1940 - 6.September.1940 Published
                  WITH THE AERIAL battle exploding in its full viciousness, the leaders of Fighter Command struggle against mounting opposition with rapidly depleting resources. Brian Drummond and his brother's in arms rise every day with the knowledge it could be their last flight against extraordinarily long odds. Everyone sees the obvious, the only obstacles between the British Isles and near certain domination by the highly successful and ebullient Germans were the Royal Navy and less than 1,000, young, largely untested pilots of Fighter Command. Prime Minister Winston Churchill bears witness to the heroic feats of those few, intrepid, young aviators who stood in the breach during the summer of 1940. Amidst the carnage of the epic battle, Charlotte Palmer – a beautiful, older, war widow – saves Brian's life, receives the George Cross from King George VI, and becomes very special to ace Pilot Officer Brian Drummond.


BOOK V: "THE VERDICT"                  6.September.1940 - 2.November.1940 Published
                  ROYAL AIR FORCE, Fighter Command fought mind-numbing fatigue, overwhelming odds and precipitously diminishing numbers in the desperate aerial battle over Southeast England the world called the Battle of Britain. With the Air Defense System of Great Britain rapidly approaching the threshold of ineffectivity, the Germans shift their horrific aerial assault from the airfields and aircraft factories to London and the civilian population. His Majesty’s Government focused upon keeping the Germans from attempting a cross-Channel invasion, keeping the vital Atlantic supply lines open, and encouraging the United States to provide desperately need war material. The miraculous shift of German bombardment targeting, soon to be known as The Blitz, brings breathing room to the nearly expended fighter pilots, and enables precious time for refit and renewal. As German daylight air operations begin to dwindle in favor of night bombing of the cities, Brian Drummond wades into a bad situation to save a comrade during an air raid in the West Country. Brian’s aircraft is seriously damaged. Unable to bailout, he crashes and is seriously injured. After being stabilized in hospital, Brian recovers from his injuries under the care of Charlotte Palmer, as their relationship grows..

NOTE: Once again, during the preparation for production, the publisher indicated the submitted manuscript Book VI - "Deflection" was too long and had to be reduced in size. In September 2016, the original Book VI was split. The chapters my draft Book VI was split roughly in half with several additional section to form a  new Book VI titled: "Frustration."  The second half of the draft Book VI also had additional sections added to be Book VII - "Deflection."


BOOK VI: "FRUSTRATION 3.November.1940 - 30.March.1941 Published
                      THE LARGEST AERIAL combat known as the Battle of Britain has transitioned from daylight fighter operations to the terror of the nightly German bombing campaign the Press dubbed The Blitz. Brian recovers from his wounds and reluctantly agrees to leave his mates in No.609 Squadron to join the newly formed, first, all-American volunteer squadron – No.71 Squadron. Winter weather diminished the threat of invasion. His Majesty’s Government collects intelligence that indicates the Germans are turning their attention and moving their forces to the east. The American pilots face the mounting frustration of being media darlings, while Fighter Command remains reluctant to employ them for their intended purpose.


BOOK VII: "DEFLECTION 2.April.1941 - 8.December.1941 Published
                  BRIAN RECOVERS FROM his injuries under the care of Charlotte Palmer, the woman who will become his wife.  His Majesty’s Government recognizes Brian accomplishments, as he returns to flight duty and joins his countrymen in No.71 Eagle Squadron.  Fighter Command regains its strength as the Germans divert their deadly attention to pounding London. The British stand teetering at the brink of the precipice. The onset of winter weather postpones the German invasion attempt until the next spring. The British gained a reprieve, but Britons must suffer the nightly outrage of the Blitz and the incessant destruction of the bombing. Brian returns to the cockpit, regains his confidence as a fighter pilot and makes his first forays across the Channel to raid German positions in Northern France. Charlotte gives birth to their first child, Ian. Churchill meets with Roosevelt to secure vital supply and support for the British war effort. Hitler turns his attention east toward his ultimate adversary – Stalin and the Soviet Union. Brian and his band of brothers finally recognize they have truly beaten the Germans. They harass the German occupation forces and watch world events developing on the other side of the planet. Winston Churchill slept the sleep of the saved as the world is shocked by Pearl Harbor. The immortal words of Franklin Roosevelt confirm the reluctant partnership of the United States against the forces of tyranny.


BOOK VIII: "HUNTER"       8.December.1941 - 30.December.1942 Published
                  WITH THE U.S. entry into the war, the RAF American volunteers of No.71 Eagle Squadron continue their fight for freedom. Defeat after defeat demoralize the Allies, but the pilots of Fighter Command recognize their gathering strength. The tempo of cross-Channel operations increases. Churchill stimulates espionage, intelligence and resistance operations on the continent.  U.S. Army Air Corps units begin building up in England.  Brian and the other American volunteer RAF pilots and their Spitfires are transferred to the USAAF; No.71 Squadron becomes 334th Fighter Squadron.  Against his preference to continue flying, Brian is ordered to return to the United States to participate the First National War Bond Drive.  General Eisenhower takes command of the Allied Forces, as they plan for and execute Operation TORCH--the invasion of French Colonial Northwest Africa.  The Allies take the offensive as they ramp up their military and material support of the Soviet Union, who has yet to stop the German advance.


BOOK IX: "STRUGGLE" 6.January.1943 - 1.January.1944                            Published
                  AGAINST THE ADVICE of others, Brian chooses to return to combat after the successful National War Bond Drive as well as to Charlotte and their growing son. The Western Allies have finally taken the offensive against the Germans and begun the process of creating a genuine Second Front, as the Russians finally turn the corner and stop the German advance at Stalingrad, encircling and capturing the entire German Sixth Army. The 8th Air Force concentrates on the strategic bombing campaign, while the 8th Fighter Command struggle to support the bombers as a consequence of their inadequate range. The 334th Fighter Squadron transitions from their beloved Spitfire Mark V to new P-47D Thunderbolt. Trevor ‘Diamond’ Andersen enters Germany to encourage and support the White Rose Resistance Group, only to narrowly escape capture by the Gestapo. The White Rose group are executed by the Nazis, while Trevor completes his arduous extraction to safety. The Russian finally begin to push back the Germans, as the Western Allies liberate North Africa, invade Sicily and Italy, and turn the Italians against the Germans. The planning for the invasion of France is well underway, when Roosevelt and Churchill agree that General Dwight 'Ike' Eisenhower will be the Supreme Commander for the Normandy invasion next spring.

BOOK X: "OVERLORD"                                   5.January.1944 - 31.December.1944                                                                                                        Published
                  U.S. ARMY TROOP build-up is well underway with significant training operations in preparation for Operation OVERLORD. Brian and his comrades transition to the P-51D Mustang and begin long-range bomber escort operations into the heart of Germany. Churchill meets with Eisenhower as the invasion plans are solidified. Charlotte continues to raise their son and expand the Drummond’s business interests as Brian continues his service in a fighter cockpit. The fighter pilots carryout all-out, high tempo operations in direct support of the Normandy landings. With Brian deeply engaged in operations, he is deeply shaken when Charlotte is seriously injured and Ian is tragically killed by errant V1 buzz bomb; Charlotte is shattered, almost gives up, and then vows to have many children so none of them will be alone as she was. Brian participates in ground and escort operations as Allied forces race across France and into Germany where they face the Battle of the Bulge..


BOOK XI: "VICTORY"                                   1.January.1945 - 30.September.1945                                                                                              Published

              BRIAN AND HIS brethren dominate the skies above the collapsing German Empire. To an increasing degree, the American fighter pilots support ground operations as the Western Allies cross the Rhine River into the heart of Germany. The Red Army is closing on Berlin from the east. With the Red Army eventually on top of them in Berlin, Hitler commits suicide with his mistress Eva Braun. Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies as the war in Europe ends. Brian and the 334th Fighter Squadron are ordered to prepare for transfer to the Pacific Theater for continuing combat against Japan. Churchill meets Truman and Stalin at Potsdam, and he learns of the successful U.S. atomic weapons test. Churchill leaves Potsdam for Parliamentary elections and suffers a shocking defeat; he does not return to Potsdam. The Allies issue their ultimatum to Japan. As the Japanese government waivers, President Truman authorizes the use of the newly developed atomic bomb. With his transfer orders pending, Brian and Charlotte prepare for the Pacific Theater as they listen to the end of the war with Japan. Brian meets Churchill again at Chartwell to commiserate about their battles won and lost.

BOOK XII: "TRANSITION"    September.1945 - July.1950            The Publisher has not agreed to this volume, so it is currently TBD
Blank Book Cover                 THE ARMY DISCHARGES Brian, and he elects to remain in England. Brian and Charlotte work her farm. He maintains his contacts with the surviving comrades from No.609 Squadron. He does a little flying with deHavilland. As the Allies destroy massive quantities of equipment, Brian convinces Charlotte to help him acquire a Spitfire Mark IX and a couple of spare engines that they preserve. He also flies for Bainbridge Air Services but prefers to be home. Churchill’s prophetic ‘Iron Curtain’ pronouncement and the Berlin Blockade clarify the growing tensions in Europe. Brian meets a U.S. Marine aviator assigned to the U.S. Embassy in London. They share experiences at Shepherd’s Pub, the famous RAF pilot’s gathering place. The Marine convinces Brian to join and fly for the Marines. Charlotte reluctantly agrees. They find a caretaker for the farm and move to Pensacola where Brian learns the skills for carrier operations and transitions to the F4U Corsair. The North Koreans invade South Korea. Brian is assigned to VMF-121 squadron as they deploy to Korea. Charlotte returns with the children to England.


BOOK XIII: "A NEW WAR"    July.1950 - October.1954             
Blank Book Cover                  BRIAN'S NEW SQUADRON is one of two Marine fighter squadrons that prove vital to the defense of the Pusan Perimeter. They support the Inchon landings and the offensive up the peninsula to the Yalu River. Winter comes along with the People's Liberation Army. Brian carries out risky ground support flights to help the Marines trapped at Chosin Reservoir. During the breakout, Brian is shot down, joins a decimated infantry unit, finds a sniper rifle and uses his exceptional marksmanship skills to help defend the unit. He leads the remaining Marines out. For his bravery, Brian is awarded the Medal of Honor. He returns to Washington, DC, to accept his award from President Truman and is reunited with Charlotte. He is sent to transition to jet aircraft, but he is ordered back to Washington to become newly elected President Eisenhower's military aide. Brian learns the hard lessens of politics by watching in the shadows the McCarthy hearings and the spy scandals.


BOOK XIV: "WAITING FOR NOTHING"        1955 to 1964                                                                
Blank Book Cover                  BRIAN COMPLETES HIS tour in the White House and returns to a fighter squadron VMF-333 to fly F-8 crusaders. He applies for the astronaut programs, but his lack of college degree, test pilot training and his age cause him to be rejected. JFK becomes president. Brian's squadron goes on alert for the Bay of Pigs incident and redeploys going to a war footing during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Charlotte becomes progressively less tolerant of Brian's constant comings and goings. Their family stress coupled with the disillusionment of racial discrimination and the aftermath of JFK's assassination cause Brian and Charlotte to seriously consider resignation and return to England. Just as they make their decision to leave, Brian is offered command of a fighter squadron. Charlotte concedes. They move to MCAS El Toro, and Brian takes command of VMF-313. Churchill dies. Brian is asked to attend the memorial service; the family returns to England for the first time in many years.


BOOK XV: "THE BAD WAR"     1965 to 1972                                       
Blank Book Cover                   BRIAN TRANSITIONS TO the F-4 Phantom and deploys for his first tour in Vietnam as a group commander. He demonstrates his exceptional skills at close air support of engaged ground troops. Second son, Scott, enters the US Naval Academy. Brian goes back for his second tour in Vietnam; this time as commanding general 1st Marine Air Wing during Tet Offensive of 1968. Brian becomes friends with Admiral Zumwalt, commander naval forces Vietnam. Brian leaves Vietnam and returns to Washington, DC, assigned to HQMC. He is asked to testify to Congress about CAS mission Marine performance. Brian fights with his daughter, Barbara, in the make-love-not-war hippie culture. Brian and Scott face the conflict between military service and the anti-war movement. Scott graduates from USNA, goes to Quantico and Pensacola to follow his father. Zumwalt becomes CNO. Brian becomes special assistance to the National Security Council.


BOOK XVI: "PASS THE BATON" 1972 to 1982                                         
Blank Book Cover                   BRIAN BECOMES A member of the National Command Authority, National Command Center. They go through Watergate, Nixon's resignation, the evacuation of Saigon. The Carter Administration takes a very dim view of the military. Scott moves into his career, as Marine aviator in the shadow of his famous, highly decorated father. Brian supervises the planning for Operation Eagle Claw, the Iranian rescue mission; the effort illuminates the conflict between civil and military operational command. Reagan becomes President. Brian retires as a lieutenant general after 40 plus years of distinguished service and is celebrated by many of the world's notable people. Brian and Charlotte return the farm in Southern England.


[NOTE: Given the success of the To So Few series, a new series can be developed around Brian's son, Scott, with a focus on the extraordinary events of the late 20th Century. In the new series, more of Cap's direct experience, as a Marine aviator and experimental test pilot, can be utilized.]


This page was last modified: 23.January.2024