by Grimm, Jacob L. (compiler); Cole, Verne H. (Editor)
483rd Bombardment Group (H) Association, 1997. First Edition. Quarto; VG/no-DJ as issued; Blue and white spine with red and black text; Clean glossy pictorial boards, sharp corners, clean endpapers, tight binding; Textblock unmarked. pp 306. From forward by Verne H. Cole: "This is a book about heroes, hundreds of them, who went off to war in the heavy bombers known as Bl7s. They formed the air crews of the 483rd Bombardment Group (H) which in slightly more than one year in Europe during World War II established an enviable record of success against the Nazi war machine. They were young and they were often frightened. They also were bored during the days between missions. Every time their chariot of war rumbled down the steel-mat runway headed for German-occupied Europe, they were frightened. Their fear in- tensified as they neared the target, or saw German fighter planes, or saw the black puffs of smoke that meant someone on the ground was firing anti-aircraft weapons, trying to kill them. Sometimes they screamed into their oxygen masks when they saw another B-17 disintegrate. They had nightmares about the crews that didn't return, especially those in the crippled B-l7s they watched dropping out of formation. The fear, though, usually was kept in check and those young men did what they had been trained to do. They delivered their tons of bombs to enemy targets with great success. They fired at the enemy fighter planes that came screaming at them. They joked about close calls with the anti-aircraft fire, about their own near-misses with disaster - coming back to base with two engines out; prying loose hung-up bombs with a screwdriver, while looking straight down at earth five miles below. They talked about cranking up the ball turret by hand to help the wounded occupant; about transferring fuel from an engine gone bad; about the difficulty in maintaining control of a plane with the rudder shot up. Then they would check the bulletin board to see if they were posted to fly on tomorrow's mission. If posted, they flew. However frightened, they flew. Whatever the target, they flew. And whatever the problems en- countered, they did their best to complete their mission and return. Their heroics were noted. The men of the 483rd received a tremendous number of medals. The 10 men on the Robert Goes- ling crew each received a Silver Star, the nation's third highest combat decoration, and four also received Purple Hearts - all for a single mission. Most of the 483rd air crewmen earned Air Medals and a variety of other medals. Records that might have indicated just how many medals were awarded, and to whom, were lost. After World War II, statisticians came up with the fact that a man fighting the air war over Europe had less chance of sur- vival than a Marine in the South Pacific. Nobody told those young airmen that while they were in training in the States. Bu it wouldn't have made any difference. They wanted to fly. The considered themselves the chosen. They became the heroes." [Oversized book. Additional postage necessary for expedited/international orders. Economy International shipping unavailable due to weight restrictions. For international/expedited customers, please inquire for rates] Shelved in Netdesk office, on shelf above ephemera items. NASS Military. (Inventory #: 14-430-1263841)
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