Read this short story 10-20 years ago, don't know where.

Premise is that this fighter pilot dies, and the Devil offers to dogfight him for his soul (I think his soul was going to be consigned to purgatory otherwise).

Fighter pilot agrees and does some cleverness involved in choosing the planes (e.g. It's a P-39 model "H" which was somehow superior to the regular series. Don't remember the exact plane, but pretty sure it was WWII-era, allied side, for the pilot). Fighter pilot wins (possibly because of better turning radius?)

Having lost the rights to the soul, the Devil ups the bargain -- win again (best 2 of 3?) and he'll release a whole bunch of fighter pilot souls from purgatory. New rule -- the Devil gets to choose the models of planes in the next fight. Fighter pilot agrees, and still wins (bad type of plane but still good at one thing?).

Having released everyone from purgatory, fighter pilot gets offer to reincarnate (him and all his friends) and go fighting for "good" in some far off space force.

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    I'm pretty sure this is from Hero's in Hell, which would make this a duplicate question. It was a fun book. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 17:53
  • I don't think this is heros in Hell. I do have the book though. Will check.
    – Nic
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 18:12
  • This was the one case where people get out of hell. I always thought the bit at then end where they're fighting in the far future was really cool. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 18:21
  • @Donald.McLean story id questions have to have confirmed answers on both to be duplicates.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 18:22
  • Are you sure the souls were in Purgatory, not hell? It doesn't make much sense that the devil would have any control over releasing souls from Purgatory (nor hell, really, but at least the souls in hell actually do belong to the devil whereas the souls in Purgatory do not).
    – Null
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 18:22


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