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Publisher's Summary

The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship.
Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys - turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B24s - who suffered over 50 percent casualties.
Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B24s as their crews fought to the death through thick, black, deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine or else went down in flames. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew 35 combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes - many of whom did not come back.
As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldier from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue makes clear the contribution these young men of the Army Air Forces stationed in Italy made to the Allied victory.
©2001 Stephen E. Ambrose (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
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Critic Reviews

"Brilliant.... It is a terrific story." (Larry King, USA Today)
" The Wild Blue is right on target...[the book] finally gives those men of the 15th Air Force the tribute they so richly earned." ( The Dallas Morning News)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By jud on 02-09-12

Terrific book.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am a retired Army Aviator...this book brought back many memories for me. Written with great insight. The reader is excellent

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sharon on 02-11-12

Dad was a B-24 pilot

What did you love best about The Wild Blue?

This made me appreciate what my father accomplished by becoming a pilot. He had not finished high school when he signed up. He doesn't talk about his experiences and I am hoping I will get him to tell me more about his experiences by gaining background information from this book. He was shot down on his 23rd mission and was to go home after 25. He set his bomber down in a field that turned out to be in Switzerland. His entire crew returned to the US and had reunions until a few years ago when most were too elderly to travel. Dad is 88 and still going strong.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several moments in the book that moved me. Relating the stories of the many reasons why the men didn't get to return home. The extreme cold and discomfort the men had to live with while in the plane. The heart stopping stories of having to fly through flack. How young many of the pilots were. The empty bunks.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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