The Boys in the B-17: 8Th Air Force Combat Stories of Wwii (Paperback)

The Boys in the B-17: 8Th Air Force Combat Stories of Wwii By T/Sgt James Lee Hutchinson Eds Cover Image
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Hutch's third book contains short stories of boys on B-17 Flying Fortress crews in deadly missions with the Eighth Air Force in World War II and stories of his own teenage combat experiences as radio/gunner on twenty missions with the Mighty Eighth. Teenagers enlisted or were drafted, trained and went into combat before they could legally vote or buy a drink. They volunteered to fly in the Army's Air Cadet Program and became a part of the greatest air armada in the world. Most of the gunners on a bomber crew were teenagers and the average age of officers was twenty-four. Veterans' memoirs and diaries give amazing reports of fighter attacks, flak damage and those who survived being shot down out to become Prisoners of War. These youngsters manned the planes that bombed and destroyed Germany's military and war industry. The price of victory was high, with an extreme loss of aircrews and planes. Eighth Air Force losses were among the highest of any military unit. Like the author, teenagers who survived to tell the stories of those great air battles are now in their mid-eighties and rapidly passing into history. See previous books "Through These Eyes" and "Bombs Away " See a free DVD at http: // for interviews of the author with actual WW II combat film footage.

About the Author

Hutch says, "Today, at age 86, I concentrate on family, writing and golf, I often reflect on the many twists and turns in my life and people who helped me along the way. One of the disadvantages of old age is it's too late to thank them! I thank God for seeing that my travel through time was steered and protected by family and friends who helped push me up and over the hill. I hope my short stories give readers a glimpse of history as I lived it as a teenager in World War II. At the age of nineteen, I had a front row seat on a B-17 bomber for the greatest air war in history. Aircrews in the B-17 and B-24 Eighth Air Force heavy bombers had one duty. We delivered bombs to destroy Germany's industries and military targets. Our job was to and wipe out Hitler's ability to wage war. U.S. fighters protected our bombers from the Luftwaffe fighters who tried to shoot us down. German anti-aircraft gunners filled the sky with exploding shells 88mm shells (flak) over the target to stop the planes from delivering tons of bombs that brought death and destruction. Violent death and wounds were facts of life for the boys on the aircrews of heavy bombers. I often wondered if I would ever see my twentieth birthday." Hutch grew up in the hills of southern Indiana during the pre-war depression in a boyhood much the same as many of the sixteen million boys in service during World War II. He was drafted out of high school his senior year. His books contain short stories of a boyhood in the pre-war depression and combat duty in the Mighty Eighth. Other airmen also share amazing stories of their combat experiences. Holocaust stories tell why WWII was necessary. The author is co-host of a high school Indiana History Project to interview veterans and tape their stories to air on local educational channels. He speaks to school classes: "I introduce myself as a WW II veteran and a member of a fading generation with stories their great-grandfather might tell. Children should be told of the sacrifices of airmen who served in the largest air war armada in history." Earning three Indiana University degrees (BS MS EdS) he served 37 years as elementary teacher, principal and Asst. Superintendent. February 18, 2008, he was honored for his book and service by Senate Joint Resolution Fifty before the Senate and House of the Indiana General Assembly. He is an ordained Presbyterian elder, Rotary Paul Harris Award winner and Masonic Lodge member (50 years.) "I write to honor the men (boys) of the Eighth Air Force; those who died in the deadly skies and those who survived. My stories tell what we did and why it had to be done!" -Hutch

Product Details
ISBN: 9781467060493
ISBN-10: 1467060496
Publisher: Authorhouse
Publication Date: November 23rd, 2011
Pages: 258
Language: English