ABOUT THE AUTHOR Donald E. Casey volunteered for the Aviation Cadet program of the U.S. Army Air Corps in December, 1942 at age 18 and was called for active duty in February 1943. On completing aerial navigation school on October 23, 1943 he was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant and was awarded his silver navigator's wings, still age 18 by two weeks. He flew as a navigator in B-17 " Flying Fortress" bombers on 28 combat missions out of England with the 379th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force until June 18, 1944 when his aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and he and four crew members survived while the other four were killed in action that day by vengeful civilians on the ground in Hamburg, Germany. Lt. Casey was captured by German soldiers and spent six months in Stalag Luft III (South Compound) the "Great Escape" prison camp in Zagan, Poland with 10,000 captured Allied flying officers. On January 27, 1945 Russian Army troops approached Zagan and were close enough for him and his fellow prisoners to hear the explosions of the cannons from less than 20 miles away. He and his fellow prisoners were evacuated westward under armed guard on foot in a subzero blizzard and via cattle- car train to Stalag VII-A at Moosburg, in Bavaria. He and 110,000 flea-ridden Allied POW's were finally liberated by General George Patton's 3rd Army on April 29, 1945 and rescued amid starvation, exposure and disease. On returning to the United States in June of 1945, he was mustered out of the Army in time to enroll in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the Fall where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in June 1948. After College he worked briefly in New York as a trainee in the investment banking business after which he was transferred by his company to Denver, Colorado for three years. In 1952 he returned to his home city in Chicago, Illinois where he worked for a large life and health insurance company for three years while attending law school at the University of Loyola graduating in 1957. He earned the WORLD WAR II AUTHOR'S Award from the STERLING COOPER PUBLISHING DIVISION for this book.