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Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Publisher's Note: Products purchased from Third Party sellers are not guaranteed by the publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.

A well-researched, highly readable account of a B-17 combat crew's experience


In 1943, when the outcome of World War II hung in the balance, B-17 crews of the Eighth Air Force flew
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Paperback, 454 pages
Published May 21st 1999 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published July 31st 1989)
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 ·  144 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Andy Bittner
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Understandable, Educational, Inspirational and Readable!

In 1972, at the age of ten, I was first exposed to historic World War 2 aircraft in flight. In that moment, a lifelong fascination with the history represented by these planes was born. There were many planes present that day, bombers, fighters, transports and trainers; but for me, none of them captured my attention or my imagination like the majestic B-17 Flying Fortress. Since then, I have read books, watched movies and documentaries,
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Mark Underwood
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
My uncle is buried at Arlington. He was shot down in a mission much like those covered in this book. It is to be readily admitted that few women will be reading this book -- it's the sort of "military non-fiction" that men seem to gravitate toward. Sorting that out is for another day.

The book is a World War II history of the 303rd Bomb Group. (My uncle flew in the 487th Bomb Group. See http://donrobertunderwood.com/2015/06...) It's constructed from what appears to be extensive interview or news
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Vince
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Detailed history of bombing during World War II.
Andrew
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are plenty of books written about World War II and the various units that fought it. Most of these books focus on the strategy or tactics, describing the battles and outcomes, portraying the big picture of how the war progressed. Others are personal memoirs, written by the troops themselves, providing an intimate and deeply personal account of what the war was like for each individual. But what is more rare, is a detailed look at what life was like on a day-to-day basis for a particular ...more
Craig
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war-military
I recently visited the Dulles Air and Space Museum in Virginia and was captivated by the WWII aircraft on display. My father was part of the 92nd Bomb Group stationed in Podington, England during WWII, and I recall his accounts of the B-17 Flying Fortresses (the heavies) in his Group which knocked out much of Germany's production capability and brought a speedier end to the war - but at a very high price in loss of aircraft and airmen. While at the museum, I came across this book which documents ...more
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent account of the American Air effort over Europe during 1943-44. The author follows the wartime experiences of one crew from the 303rd "Hell's Angels" Bomb Group using personal accounts and official records. This book is very much like Gerald Astor's The Mighty Eight and is as just as good, if not better. The story of Sgt Joseph Sawicki, pages 207 to 217, brings home the horror and absolute bravery of these men. I would hope that one day soon Sgt Sawicki's exceptional bravery ...more
Lbloomfield
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww2
Having picked this up at the airport in Florida I had an 8 hour flight to get well stuck in. Although I needed sleep I was wide awake the whole time thanks to the gripping and riveting story telling in this book. Not only the history of the Squadron, the book focuses on one crew whilst at the same time telling the perspectives of many others who were on the same missions. The ability for this book to look at one mission through the eyes many different aircraft crews (Even those shot down) you ...more
Kelly B
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kelly by: Dad
There is something that sets pilots apart from other people. I am not sure what it is, but I can sense it. I also knew a WWII bomber pilot, and he would tell me stories about crash landing off the coast of Australia, and how he lied about his age so that he could join the Air Force and be a pilot, like he always dreamed about as a kid in the middle-of-America-nowhere. He was a very special person, and I wish I had more time with him before he passed.
Evan
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I would rather read a detailed first person account from one bomber crew in detail than ten crews from a handful of planes with ten men on eaxh at any given time since its more personal. this one strikes a balance between dry historical detail and broad biography drawn from what feels forty people. So it lacks some of the panache of others to suck you into the soldiers eyes but a solid read.
Ed
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is really a great account of the "Mighty Eighth" effort over Europe during 1943-44, tracking the experiences in the 303rd Bomb Group..."Hell's Angels".
Jim
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The stunning word pictures presented in this book bring you face to face with the fear and heroism that was the Army Air Corp during World War II.
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