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When Heroes Flew

(When Heroes Flew #1)

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  362 ratings  ·  37 reviews
For B-24 bomber pilot Al Lycoming, the mission was history in the making.

Dispatched to Benghazi, Libya, on mysterious orders, he finds nearly 200 other B-24 bombers being assembled...and a top secret assignment that will catapult them all into seemingly impenetrable Nazi defenses.

Their mission: a daring low-level attack on Hitler’s extensive oil refineries.

But when his co-
ebook, 315 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Severn River Publishing
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Laura Snider
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love a good WWII story. They are heavier (for obvious reasons), but history is important. Especially during such a tumultuous time in history - then and now.

WWII is my favorite period for historical fiction, but I’ve never come across one told from the perspective of pilots. This one is particularly interesting because the two main perspectives are that of both a German and American pilot. Also, there is a female aviator. Which, of course, is awesome.
Martin Pingree
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Without a doubt one of the best WWII war books I have ever read. Army air Corp is tasked with an extremely low level bombing mission in planes designed for high level bombing missions. This is the story of a Captain named Al and his crew and fellow pilots and how this mission was handled. If you enjoy wartime stories you will not be able to put this book down ! An awesome cast of characters, non stop action and a story line so well written you will feel like you were actually there.
Kathleen Rodgers
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Novelist H.W. “Buzz" Bernard is a master at gaining reader empathy through sympathetic characters in his fast-paced WWII era novel, When Heroes Flew.

Whether you’re engaged in the viewpoint of Captain Al Lycoming, an affable American B-24 Liberator pilot, or Egon Richter, a German Messerschmitt fighter pilot who understands a code of honor amongst fliers, you find yourself caught up in the chaos of war and wish everyone could return home safe and sound to loved ones.

In tightly woven scenes char
David Huntley
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review of When Heroes Flew 4/28/2020 Advance Reader Copy
Captain Al Lycoming pilot of a B-24 Liberator and his crew have completed around a dozen missions while based in England, but are now on their way to a new posting in Benghazi Libya in March of 1943. His squadron is joining others to prepare for a major bombing mission to attack the oil refineries at Ploesti the Romanian oil refineries vital to the German war machine.
While in Benghazi and preparing for the mission the crews have heard rumo
Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)
MWSA Review

H.W. “Buzz” Bernard scores with his new novel, When Heroes Flew. In August of 1943, the Allies undertake Operation Tidal Wave to restrict the flow of petroleum products to the German army in hopes of ending the war. To do so, they decide on a complex plan that uses high altitude bombers dropping explosives from tree-top level in hopes of catching the German defenses off guard. The plan requires hundreds of brave men, and one brave woman, and they all won’t make it home. Opposing them
Genevieve Montcombroux
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii-historicall
When Heroes Flew, H.W. ‘Buzz’ Bernard
Hard to keep eyes dry at times
I was apprehensive about reading a book all about flying and aerial combat but the Ploesti raid was mentioned in some of my other readings and I wanted t know more. I feared the technical details might be beyond me. But no, the extensive research distilled throughout the novel read easily.

When Heroes Flew is a novel yet at times it is so real that I forgot about it being fiction. The philosophical thoughts that course through Al
Joe Rodeck
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A low level WWII bombing raid from Libya to Romania turns out to be more dangerous than expected. Just one simple mission makes up this historical novel. The most interesting characters are Luftwaffe pilots who are beginning to have a Heil Hitler crisis before the battle begins. The main character, Captain Al (USA) is a by-the-booker who has to decide whether or not to break the rules.

I love historical novels and this one credibly shows how the krauts are holding all the cards.

Reading level: eas
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved this novel

I recommend this book to anyone interested in WW II or aviation. A moving story about Operation Tidal Wave, the low level attack on Ploesti by B-24's in 1943, as told through the lens of a fictional crew and German fighter pilot. The story is about more than the mission. A great book.

One error. When the radio operator volunteers to take over the top turret, he says he knows how to operate a machine gun because he was a nose gunner in a B-17 earlier. In reality, machine guns in th
L. R. Hintonl
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great Story and Definition of Life and Action!

I enjoyed the storyline and the character definitions! The story was easy to read and kept you interested! I felt it was more a humanistic story that took place in a war! I liked the ending that wrapped up all of the basic characters. During 1963/64, I was stationed with the 6916 Security Service Squadron in Rhine Mein Air Base, where I met and interfaced with a older Tech Sargent. During the next Squadron full dress inspection, I saw the Sargent wit
David Richey
Having read and enjoyed several of Buzz Bernard's previous books, I put in a request for a copy of "When Heroes Flew" for my 74th birthday. Fortunately, my wish was granted, and two days later I have finished reading what I considered to be an incredible story.
Prior to starting the book I had no knowledge that this was based on a true story; and now having finished it during this very trying time in our country's history, I have an even greater appreciation for the men who fought for our freedo
Victoria Mannion
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best war stories you will ever read. Told through the point of view of two pilots, one in the Nazi Luftwaffe, the other with a group of Allied forces, it features tense action as they prepare for and fight in a daring and suicidal air raid during WWII. But it's more than just a great action book, because Bernard makes each character human. The dual protagonists are both noble, flawed, and altogether human. I couldn't put it down because of the craftsmanship of the author, and ...more
Darren Bourn
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to read this novel as an ARC (advance review copy).

The novel is about the bombing raid on Polesti, Romania in 1943 (apparently Romania was the petrochemical hub for the Axis forces during World War 2).

The novel took the story from both the viewpoints of an American B-24 pilot and a German BF-109 Messerschmitt pilot and wove the tales together to form an excellent read. The story was really well written and very descriptive.

I found this book to be highly enjoyable and a qui
Eric Cousineau
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully compelling and heartfelt story about the Allied bombing of the Ploesti oil fields during WWII. This intimate recounting of this raid is delightfully personal and gives you the feeling that you were actually there. With wonderfully developed characters and realistic and authentic dialog, the author captures the terror, joys, compassion and yes even respect between opposing pilots. A masterful tale that was almost impossible to put down!

Thank you to the author who provided me with an
James Conn
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My standard genre is non-fiction military history but I break it up from time-to-time with historical fiction and picked up Buzz Bernard's "When Heros Flew". Even with his early disclaimer that it was a work of fiction - I was incredulous at the amazing detail based upon his factual research regarding the Ploesti raid. It was so realistically well done that I thought that he might be scamming us and reveal that it was actually non-fiction at the end!

Exceptional piece of historical fiction - rive
Shari Todd
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How blessed and fortunate I am that I was able to discover this book in time to read it three days prior to Memorial Day. It’s based on real-life bombing mission, Operation Tidal Wave, and it’s so expertly woven with historical facts and brilliantly crafted characters. The aircraft battles are written with clarity and suspense, and on the edge of your seat action. I am definitely enriched by reading this store! Highly recommend!
Alicia Crist
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great writing and story

Well written novel about Operation Tidal Wave. I loved how it intertwined stories from both the German and American side and also included a female pilot. Written from a male point of view, which is sometimes hard to identify with as a female reader (that is not a critique, just an observation!), but I love a good war story and I definitely did not have a hard time connecting with the characters! Definitely worth the read
Derek Schoiack
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It has been years since a novel brought tears to my eyes. This is an engrossing read, a page-turner, and an inspiration. This is one of only two books I’ve rated 5-star among the last 200-300 books I’ve read in the last 18 months. It is fiction, based on a true story, but it reads like a first hand account of an experience.
Barbara Powers
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Superior novel of WWII

A gripping, authentic, harrowing and emotionally charged novel of the bloody 1943 mission in which 150+ B-24 bombers tried to destroy oil refineries in Romania. This as close as I ever want to get to experiencing a flight in a B-24. The novel is a testament to the courage and dedication of the fallen and those who survived the bloody mission.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This is one of the best written novels I have read. The events are true and the story engaging. The characters were real and believable. Truly a must read with the character of man on display. It will make you smile and cry. Thanks Buzz for such a great and entertaining story. It was GREAT!
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous story

Based an actual event of WW2 with many of the names real people. This is a story of courage and valour in the heat of an air battle again with truth mixed into the story and hope of what might have been. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WW2 stories.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent novel that probably happened in real life, WWII

I've read multiple factual accounts of both the Allied and Axis stories about the European air war. When Heroes Flew read like an excerpt from many of these books/stories. The characters are real, the setting and story are part of history and the emotion felt by the reader is genuine. I recommend this novel.
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best written historical fiction novel, I have ever read. The novel is based on a real life event in WW2, called Operation Tidal Wave. You are immersed in the combat life of a crew in a B-24 bomber. It is a suspense filled roller coast of a ride. Well worth the time to read.
Charlie Parker
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great story!

Super novel of a true tale from WWll. Great meld of truth and fiction. Characters are very believable and fit well into the truth of history to make for a compelling tale. Very enjoyable for an old fighter pilot to read.
betty richards
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book about two missions of WWII

The thousands of missions flown by bombers in WWI I This author details two missions that defines the courage of the men who flew the B 24. Good read.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. It was a great read. It started slow but if this book doesn't leave a lump in your throat... ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very good story wrapped around a little-known element of the Allied air efforts in Europe. Highly recommended.
Rob Ballister
Read and reviewed as part of the MWSA 2020 awards season.
Donny Roye
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great storytelling and heroic characters

This a really fine story based on actual events. I'm always a sucker for a good WWII tale and this doesn't disappoint.
Pat Crutchfield
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A real page turner!

As a 79 year old woman I was not sure if I would enjoy reading this book but found it riveting. I highly recommend it!
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H. W. "Buzz" Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a "perfect summer beach read," was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon's Kindle Store.

PLAGUE ("One of the best thrillers of 2012″--novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coaliti

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