Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner by John Comer | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Combat Crew: A True Story of Flying and Fighting in World War II

Combat Crew: A True Story of Flying and Fighting in World War II

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by John Comer

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author served as flight engineer and gunner in a B-17 crew during World War II, flying from bases in England and Italy. In this memoir he confines himself to describing the 25 missions he took part in that were launched from Ridgewell Airdrome outside of London. Although the problems and terrors from flight to flight were often similarGerman fighters and flak barrages, engine troubles and oxygen failureseach mission, as he describes it, takes on a quality of its own. Much of the drama is conveyed through Comer's reconstruction of intercom dialogue, and though some of the characters seem stereotypical (the con artist, the clown, the Brooklynite, etc.) they nevertheless come across as real people. Comer casually mentions the development of his psychic ability to discern which of his comrades were doomed. He also discusses the phenomenon of combat burnout, using his own case as an example. Despite his fatigue, he volunteered to return to combat after an interim tour of duty in the States and flew 50 more missions. Comer, now a retired sales manager, lives in Texas. (February 16)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Former B-17 crewman Comer kept diaries of his 25 missions over Europe from 1943 to 1944, and has finally assembled them into an authentic, vivid picture of the day-to-day life of the bomber crews of the Eighth Air Force. He was on both the August 17, 1943 raid to Schweinfurt and the Stuttgart raid of September 6 in which 45 planes, one aircraft in seven, did not return. Here are flak and humdrum duties, near misses, and the bitter cold at altitude, the anguish of losing friends, the transformation from anxious newcomer to cautious veteran, and the awe at watching one of the greatest air battles of history from a Flying Fortress. Valuable perspectives here on some pivotal events in the war, and something on the toughness of the human spirit.Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st rev. ed

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