“Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout

Jay Stout has written a fine book about the citizen of airman of World War II. This is an oral history instead of a traditional history.

It is the remembrances of the ordinary men who answered the call of their country.Reading the book reminded me of sitting at my local coffee shop and listening to the old timers tell the stories of their youth when they served the USA. It doesn’t give you the global, geopolitical strategies or the military master plan. Instead you get snap shots of the young men as you put their piece of the puzzle into the larger picture. It helps to see the bigger picture a little more clearly from the average airman’s point of view.

“Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout. The publisher is Casemate Publishing. It is enjoyable, easy reading, and well worth the purchase price. Well done!

Book Review: “Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout

Jay Stout has written a fine book about the citizen of airman of World War II. This is an oral history instead of a traditional history. It is the remembrances of the ordinary men who answered the call of their country.

Reading the book reminded me of sitting at my local coffee shop and listening to the old timers tell the stories of their youth when they served the USA. It doesn’t give you the global, geopolitical strategies or the military master plan. Instead you get snap shots of the young men as you put their piece of the puzzle into the larger picture. It helps to see the bigger picture a little more clearly from the average airman’s point of view.

“Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout. The publisher is Casemate Publishing. It is enjoyable, easy reading, and well worth the purchase price. Well done!

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” by Patricia Chapman Meder. The publisher is Casemate Publishing.

Did Joseph Heller commit a disservice to the members of the 340th Bomb Group when he wrote Catch-22? Did author  Patricia Chapman Meder write an apologetic defending the real four officers some feel Joesph Heller blindsided when he made them into Catch-22’s four heavy hitters?

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” is a combination of both plus I feel some admiration for Joseph Heller making those men infamous.

There is a reason the original Catch-22 is found in the fiction not nonfiction section of bookstores. Joseph Heller didn’t write a memoir of his service during World War II. He wrote a satirical and somewhat historical novel.

Patricia Chapman Meder uses rare and unpublished photos to bring our actual heroes to life through use of first person narrative.

There is a third part in her book that is actually the book’s heart. She takes twelve men of the 340th and relates twelve true tales.

Fans of Catch-22 will enjoy the book. It makes good use of diaries, logs, and photos to bring the people to life. For those unfamiliar with Catch-22 the book will make you curious enough to pickup Heller’s book.

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” would make a nice companion volume or commentary for the serious student of the original work. It would make a nice inclusion in university or community libraries as a resource for Joseph Heller’s book.

I recommend “The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” by Patricia Chapman Meder. The publisher is Casemate Publishing.

Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.

Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe

Zenith Press‘s “Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe” by John R. Bruning is a must have for all World War II and aviation buffs.  The book is large, coffee-table size volume. The book is full of amazing pictures.  The photographs give greater coverage of the people in the war than most books. The coverage is more about the aircraft crews and ground support personnel than the aircraft specs. You learn about the people who endured the bombardment as well.

“Bombs Away!” takes account of the fascinating human element. It also describes the types of aircraft used on both sides and used in every major bombing campaign in the European Theater.

The author discusses strategic bombing theories.  John R. Bruning provides a foundation by taking the reader through the different air campaigns in the Spanish Civil War, Blitzkrieg attacks on Poland, France and Britain before applying the majority of the book to the American and British assaults on the Third Reich.

Mr. Bruning gives the particulars on how each command determined on their own approach to bombing Germany (the US daylight vs. the UK night-time), the aircraft they employ, their particular achievements and disappointments. We learn of the eventual impact of the combined strategic bombing campaign.

The book’s manuscript provides a first-rate rundown of bombing campaigns in the European Theater. However, the book’s selling-point is the illustrations. While some of the pictures have been seen before and are familiar. The author collects them in one place. The volume contains nearly 480 black and white plus color photographs and maps. They describe both Allied and Axis aircraft, aircrew and the commanders. You experience in-flight air battles. You understand the damage to different targets.

Mr. Bruning covers the major campaigns, the plans, the planes, and the people. He does this with fine prose, wonderful quotes, and dazzling photographs that bring the story to life. The book is a must for both military and community libraries.

Review: War in the Pacific Skies

“War in the Pacific Skies” is an excellent work on the war in the Pacific during World War II. The book is a wonderful intermingling of story, photography, and art.

The authors tell the story in words and pictures. The pictures and paintings take a part of the story bringing it to life. This is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book. It provides a matchless look into the Pacific Air War during World War II. You cover all the major battles/campaigns. The reader gets an excellent overview of the air war in World War II in the Pacific Theater.

Charlie Cooper (Author), Ann Cooper (Author), and Jack Fellows (Illustrator) have created a masterpiece. The book would make an excellent addition to any aviation buff or military historian’s library. It would make a wonderful addition to school or community libraries.