A Mighty Fortress: Lead Bomber Over Europe

A Mighty Fortress: Lead Bomber Over Europe

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by Chuck Alling, Elizabeth Alling Hildt
     
 

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A Mighty Fortress is the personal account of the Captain and crew of a lead bomber in the enormous formation raids made by the 8th Airforce during the last few months of the Second World War.

It is an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery on the part of the entire crew of just one B17 amongst hundreds - but the one B17 that meant most to them.

Flying a total

Overview

A Mighty Fortress is the personal account of the Captain and crew of a lead bomber in the enormous formation raids made by the 8th Airforce during the last few months of the Second World War.

It is an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery on the part of the entire crew of just one B17 amongst hundreds - but the one B17 that meant most to them.

Flying a total of 27 missions before the war came to an end in May 1945, Alling tells, with great restraint, the story of what it was like to be there, over the skies of enemy territory, constantly on the look out for German fighters; of the enormity of some of the raids they were part of and the consequences for those on the ground; of the planes around them that fell out of the sky under enemy attack, the horror and the determination to succeed. The book gives a unique insight into the lives of one crew of one plane as the War neared its end.

Charles B. Alling received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters during the Second World War. He graduated from Yale University in 1947. In 1988, he retired and studied Ethics at Oxford University Graduate School in England. In 1989, he founded the Alling Institute for Ethics. The institute is affiliated with The Foundation for Leadership and Ethics in New York City of which Alling is Chairman Emeritus. Alling serves on the Board of Visitors of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, an appointment by former Secretary of Defense, Bill Cohen. He lives in Kennebunk, Maine.

“In a fascinating way, Chuck Alling recalls his days as a pilot flying B-17’s over Germany. He is truly a member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ and from his book, written from the heart, people can learn a lot about the laughs and the tears of World War II.”
- Former President George H. W. Bush

REVIEWS

"In a fascinating way, Chuck Allling recalls his days as a pilot flying B-17's over Germany. He is truly a member of 'The Greatest Generation'; and from his book, written from the heart, people can learn a lot about the laughs and the tears of World War ll."

- Former President George H. W. Bush

"...they are called 'The Greatest Generation.' Even though they would never admit it. This is the story of one plane, one crew. It's told in a matter of fact way. Perhaps this is the only way that such a story can be told. Mr. Alling waited a lot of years to tell the story. Perhaps that too is the only way. Perhaps the time and the distance are necessary to get a realistic view. Thank you Mr. Alling for sharing the story." Books-On-Line 2-2-07

"...an excellent book for persons interested in WWII air combat from the individual airman's point of view"
AIR POWER HISTORY, Fall 2007

"provides a unique insight into the lives of the crew that flew the war to its end."
Plane and Pilot 06/2007

Editorial Reviews

Air Power History
...an excellent book for persons interested in WWII air combat from the individual airman's point of view
—D Crosby

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932033595
Publisher:
Casemate Publishers
Publication date:
10/19/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Charles B. Alling received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters during the Second World War. He graduated from Yale University in 1947. In 1988, he retired and studied Ethics at Oxford University Graduate School in England. In 1989, he founded the Alling Institute for Ethics. The institute is affiliated with The Foundation for Leadership and Ethics in New York City of which Alling is Chairman Emeritus. Alling serves on the Board of Visitors of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, an appointment by former Secretary of Defense, Bill Cohen. He lives in Kennebunk, Maine.

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Mighty Fortress: Lead Bomber Over Europe 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Nextgen8th More than 1 year ago
Having read dozens of personal memoirs from this era I don¿t expect a lot flash. Most are written by ordinary people with average writing ability. Each has an interesting personal story to tell, but their ability to tell it varies widely.

Although the flow of the book is pretty much the standard fair, personal life to training to combat and back, Alling throws us few curves along the way. Most veterans have great stories to tell but the author, being a lead pilot in a radar-equipped ¿pathfinder¿ ship, has more to tell than many. It¿s easy to read and easy to become engrossed in the lives of Alling and his crew. This is definitely a cut above the average memoir and a good value for the price.