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Their stories span the Earth, into every corner of the combat theaters in both Europe and the Pacific. And the aircraft explored are as varied, tough, and legendary as the men who flew them - from the indomitable heavy-duty warhorse that was the B-17 Flying Fortress to the sleek, lethal P-51 Mustang fighter.
In Deadly Sky, master historian John C. McManus goes beyond the familiar tales of aerial heroism, capturing the sights and sounds, the toil and fear, the adrenaline and the pain of the American airmen who faced death with every mission. In this important, thoroughly-researched work, McManus uncovers the true nature of fighting - and dying - in the skies over World War II.
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By Chiefkent on 05-23-17
Twelve O'Clock High Unabridged
While the book purports to cover all American combat fliers of WWII, but about 80% is anecdotal coverage of the European heavy bomber campaign. HAP Arnold demanded the highest scorers on the military entrance exams for manning his airplanes. The USAAF was a major believer in standardized and psychological testing and screening. This process is covered in some detail in the book along with the selection process for the various billets in a bomber, and/or a fighter pilot.
If one has seen the movie "Twelve O'Clock High", it's a nutshell of the book's 17 hours. Arnold's missive of, "Why you are about to die...", to his airmen was a nice touch. There is quite a bit of questioning by the airmen of whether or not the killing of the some 353,000 German civilians and the 300,000 - 900,000 Japanese civilians was really moral or legal. Surprisingly, most really didn't and don't care, they left that up to the REMF's. But they were asking the questions.
If this was the basis for the founding of the USAF, then we have a problem because what happened during WWII can never be replicated. The heavy bomber aircrews had about a 20% chance of completing a tour of duty. Censors kept the actual numbers secret, but these were bright guys. The REMF's kept increasing the lengths of their tours for a reason.
Mr. Davis does yeoman service to the material.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Christian Cunningham on 09-09-17
good book one of my favorite
love this book. The book will go into the lives of airman in combat and tell you how they felt. and some crazy and sad story's I would tell everyone to listen to it
1 of 1 people found this review helpful