The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45 by Stephen E. Ambrose

The author of the best selling “Band of Brothers” and “D-Day” comes up with yet another compelling read with “The Wild Blue”. In this book he concentrates on the courageous and costly exploits of the fearless airmen of America who caused havoc amongst the Axis troops from within the cramped, confined and claustrophobic settings of the bulky B-24 Bombers. In particular, Ambrose details the bravado of the pilots attached to the 781st Squadron of which McGovern a later Senator and a Presidential Candidate was an integral part.

Wild Blue

In typical Ambrose fashion, the prose is sparse, matter of fact but still possessing a richness that extols and astounds. With air superiority being a critical factor during the middle of the most catastrophic war on the Planet, the United States of America upped the ante by engaging in a hitherto seen deluge of aircraft manufacture and supply. The never ending supply chain included the B-17s and the B-24s. Although B-17 was considered to be the more graceful, maneuverable and most opted for aircraft to pilot, the B-24s created mayhem by spewing fear in the hearts of the opposition. Manned by a crew consisting inter alia a pilot, co-pilot, engineer, navigator, bombardier, navigator and turret gunners, the B-24 played a pioneering role in tilting the scales of air warfare.

The crew flying the B-24s made for an eclectic mix of youth, hailing from various parts of the United States and barely in their teens. These brave-hearts weathered not only the storm posed by the anti aircraft flak of the enemy but also the vagaries of foul and unpredictable weather, which on more occasions than one, caused more fatalities than that brought about by enemy action. But still in an uncomplaining and uncompromising manner, the fliers went about their job losing at times loved ones and at others their own limbs. Their sacrifice finally did not go in vain as the Allied air forces decimated the Luftwaffe leaving it in desolate ruins.

The Wild Blue – Raw and Revealing!

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