The Wild Blue
The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany
By Stephen E. Ambrose
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, Large Print, Large Print, 9780743216548, 400pp.)
Publication Date: August 14, 2001
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Stephen E. Ambrose is the acknowledged dean of the historians of World War II in Europe. The very young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exceptional band of brothers, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their unique brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with vivid detail and affection.
Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and then chose those few who would undertake the most de-manding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys -- turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B-24s -- who suffered over 50 percent casualties.
With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine. Many went down in flames.
Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than thirty books. Among his New York Times bestsellers are Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage. Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History. He also participated in numerous national television programs, including shows appearing on the History Channel and National Geographic.