Many stories have been written and a multitude of books
published about individual experiences in aerial combat
during World War II. Some of the books were written by
men who were shot out of the sky and then stalked like prey
until captured by a ruthless enemy. Other authors were the
men responsible for initiating and leading the enormous
formations that flew against the Axis Powers. This book is
an account by one who was merely a participant and
includes language that may be offensive to some. Most of
the words used were only figures of speech commonly used
in everyday conversation in the military. This is our story -
what we thought, how we lived, how we died, how we were
able to bring a measure of humanity and humor into a
desperate situation, and how we survived against all odds.
If there are inaccuracies, they must be attributed to the lapse
of time and the erosion of memory or perhaps even better
expressed as, “Ever notice how much better those tales of
our youth depict us as the years leave fewer witnesses who
are able to contradict us?"
What follows is my attempt to portray events as they
actually happened, some from memory and others taken
from material contained in a diary that was kept by crew-
member Staff Sergeant Wiley Dobbs during my tour as a
B-17 bomber pilot with the 8th and 15th Air Forces.
C. B. (Red) Harper
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