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Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer
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In 1943, when the outcome of World War II hung in the balance, B-17 crews of the Eighth Air Force flew harrowing, unescorted daylight bombing missions deep into Occupied Europe and Germany. These devastating raids have long been storied in film and fiction, but here is a firsthand, blow-by-blow account of these perilous missions as they really happened. In these pages, you'll see the events unfold as they were recorded and recalled by one crew's officers and enlisted men (pilot, copilot, navigator, radioman, and gunners), corroborated by other crews they flew with, and painstakingly correlated with the official records of the men's 303rd "Hell's Angels" Bomb Group.

The publication of "Half a Wing, Three Engines, and a Prayer" in 1989 prompted a flood of fresh recollections, correspondence, and personal records from other veterans of the 303rd. This Special Revised Edition incorporates that wealth of new material into a vivid, thorough recreation -- complete with actual combat photographs -- of one of the most dramatic chapters in military aviation history.


New in this Special Revised Edition:
* New veteran interviews
* Expanded coverage
* Revised data
* 90 photographs & illustrations
* Epilogue: crewmen's post-war careers

"A well-researched, highly readable account of a B-17 combat crew's experience...excellent." -- Roger A. Freeman, author of "The Mighty Eighth"

"The best collection of stories about a B-17 Bomb Group that has ever been published." -- Harry D. Gobrecht, President, 303rd Bomb Group Association and author of "Might in Flight: Daily Diary of the Eighth Air Force's 'Hell's Angels' Bomb Group"

Product Details

Table of Contents

Special Edition Acknowledgments Acknowledgments Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: Hullar's Crew Chapter 2: The ETO Chapter 3: Moleworth and the 303rd Bomb Group Chapter 4: Introduction to Combat: Amiens, August 15, 1943 and Le Bourget, August 16, 1943 Chapter 5: "We're Veterans After That One!": Schweinfurt, August 17, 1943 Chapter 6: "This One Was Going to Be a 'Milk Run'": Gilze Rijen, August 19, 1943 Chapter 7: "They Didn't Have a Prayer!": Watten, August 27, 1943 Chapter 8: "By This Time Things Were Really Screwed Up": Amiens, August 31, 1943 Chapter 9: "And I for One Said a Little Prayer": Stuttgart, September 6, 1943 Chapter 10: "A Horrible Fiasco": Nantes, September 16, 1943 Chapter 11: "Don't Let That Happen to You": Emden, October 2, 1943 Chapter 12: "Black Week" Begins: Bremen, October 8, 1943 Chapter 13: "We Were All So Scared": Munster, October 10, 1943 Chapter 14: "Schweinfurt Again!": Black Thursday, October 14, 1943 Chapter 15: Schweinfurt Postmortem: October 15-19, 1943 Chapter 16: "I Could Even See England": Duren, October 20, 1943 Chapter 17: A Week at the "Rest Home": October 22-27, 1943 Chapter 18: "Those Lightnings Were Beautiful That Day": Wilhelmshaven, November 3, 1943 Chapter 19: The Silence Before the Storm: November 4-25, 1943 Chapter 20: The Battle of Bremen Begins: November 26, 1943 Chapter 21: Star Dust: Bremen, November 26, 1943 Chapter 22: Sawicki's Sacrifice: Bremen, November 29, 1943 Chapter 23: The Battle of Bremen Continued: December 1-December 16, 1943 Chapter 24: "Half a Wing, Three Engines, and a Prayer": Bremen, December 20, 1943 Chapter 25: Jersey Bounce Jr.: Bremen, December 20, 1943 Chapter 26: "Rocket Area in France": Vacqueriette, December 24, 1943 Chapter 27: "We Had 10/10 Clouds jUnder Us the Whole Time": Ludwigshafen, December 30, 1943 Chapter 28: Combat Stress: The Tour Takes Its Toll Chapter 29: Duel With a Smokescreen: Kiel, January 4, 1944 Chapter 30: "The Biggest Ball of Flame I Have Ever Seen": Kiel, January 5, 1944 Chapter 31: Laurels and Disaster: Oschersleben, January 11, 1944 Chapter 32: Aftermaths of Oschersleben, January 11-13, 1944 Chapter 33: Hell's Angels: January 14-20, 1944 Chapter 34: "A 'No Ball' Target in France: Beaulieu, January 21, 1944 Chapter 35: A Mission With Lewis E. Lyle: Frankfurt, January 29, 1944 Chapter 36: Fowler's Fate: Frankfurt, January 29, 1944 Chapter 37: The Last Mission: Bernberg, February 20, 1944 Chapter 38: The Beginnings of Victory: "Big Week" and Beyond Chapter 39: Epilogue: Old Soldiers Who Don't Fade Away APPENDIX I * Honor Role of 303rd Bomb Group (H) * Personnel Killed, Wounded, or Missing in Action During the Hullar Crew's Tour: August 12, 1943 - February 20, 1944 APPENDIX II * Suggestions for Further Reading and Research Index

About the Author

Brian D. O'Neill, is the General Counsel of Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the famous aviation company that manufactured the Curtiss P-40 fighter and the B-17's Wright Cyclone engines during World War II. Before becoming an attorney, he served with the U.S. Navy as a detroyer gunner officer and shipyard repair officer. An avid student of Eighth Air Force history, he resides in East Windsor, New Jersey.

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