William J. Fili wrote this book to record his personal experiences in the Air Force during WW II. It has no Index or Table of Contents. The `Introduction' says the "saga of great air victories can only be told by the surviving combatants". This book tells of "the human side of aerial warfare". The ten member crew of a B-24 Liberator took part in many missions, were shot down, and survived in a prisoner of war camp. The Allied Air Forces flew through the best defenses of aircraft and flak and never turned back. This book is dedicated to the bomber crews and escoritng pilots who gave the most. Fili trained for the B-24 in Tucson Arizona. The B-24 could fly faster and further with a heavier load of bombs than the B-17 (p.7). Most of the young men were in their late teens or early twenties.
Chapter 2 describes their training. Their "primary function is to survive" (p.15), "accomplishing the mission is secondary". A good gunnery score was more important than a regulation haircut (p.16). Chapter 3 has more training experiences in every possible preparation for aerial combat. Chapter 4 tells about landing in North Africa. "There was a valid reason for everything" in this war (p.61). The supply problems are described (p.64). Chapter 5 tells about their first bombing mission for the landing at Anzio. In February 1944 they bombed the aircraft factories in southern Germany (Chapter 6). A mission that was too costly in lives and bombers was cancelled (p.98). Chapter 7 tells about the bombing of the Ploesti Oil Complex. They could shoot at any plane that pointed its nose at the bombers (p.118). The famous low-level attack on Ploesti had such high casualty rates it was never repeated (P-3). Other attacks led to the defeat of the Wehrmacht (P-13).
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