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A Wing and a Prayer: : The Eighth Air Force Series, Volume Four

A Wing and a Prayer: : The Eighth Air Force Series, Volume Four

by Cheryl Pula


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The action, suspense and emotions that surround the bomber crew of the Full House and the Eighth Air Force doesn't let up in this fourth book of the series. Cheryl continues to create the feeling that we are there with these brave WWII bomber crews. The vivid descriptions of combat and the emotions that go with it are riveting. It is hard to remember that the average age of a crew member was under 24 years of age, and that the average life expectancy of a B-17 bomber crew was no more than six missions. And yet, knowing this, these brave young men flew daylight missions, knowing that the odds were against them, but they knew what their duty was, and they did it. Readers come to love these characters and root for their survival.
BOOK REVIEW: A WING AND A PRAYER is the fourth book in Cheryl Pula's Eighth Air Force Series and I found it just as enjoyable as previous three volumes. For those unfamiliar with the series, Pula's focus is on the very real and very young American heroes of the Eighth Air Force, 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Bassingbourn England.

While the English pulled off night time bombing during WWII, Pula's series looks at the Americans who flew the iconic B-17 Heavy Bombers on regular suicidal DAYLIGHT bombing missions right into the heart of Axis territory during WWII. Missions where the odds were often doubtful that the men would ever make it back home. Yes, they often dealt the Germans a good shellacking but always at a deadly cost. Pula did YEARS of thorough research and was fortunate enough to be able to interview surviving airmen who performed those amazing missions on the B-17s so long ago. Yes. Pula's characters may be fictional but the missions and what happened most certainly AREN'T.

Book Four of Pula's series continues the lives and missions of the airmen of the B-17, "Full House". She keeps with the tradition of her earlier books by resolving the previous volume's cliffhanger. A WING AND A PRAYER picks up the action in September 1943 as First Lieutenant Matthew Moore, the half Native-American co-pilot of the B-17 bomber , "Full House" struggles in a US Military Hospital in London to recover from near fatal wounds he suffered in July while on a deadly mission bombing ordnance factories in Ocherslaben, Germany.

The early part of this book details Matt's battle to recover from wounds he feared would cripple him. His commander and best friend on FULL HOUSE, Major Jack Harrington, manages to rebuild his crew and get his plane air worthy again. As expected, the war continues and the death toll climbs. Does Matt recover? Who gets to command a new crew and a new B-17 called SECOND CHANCE? Read this book and find out!

While Pula begins her books by resolving a cliffhanger, she also ends the books with a cliffhanger as the FULL HOUSE endures a brutal mission and tries to return home with its tail section nearly blown off. Yes, the crew makes it home but it's a fantastic piece of battle writing and it's all TRUE as such an incident really did happen to a B-17. The book ends with FULL HOUSE's young bombardier, Jesse Nowakowski, a Medal of Honor recipient, trying to save a child while the Germans bomb London. Yes, I plan to start reading book five soon!

The heroes who flew bombing missions on B-17s have been a neglected part of WWII history and Pula does a fine job saluting the brave men who were there. While I found the battle sequences gripping and I've learned more about B-17s in these four books than I ever thought possible, the romantic/dramatic portions come across as a little "forced" hence my four star only rating. This is still a great book and I recommend it to all looking for a good piece of historical fiction. Check it out!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511705394
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/10/2015
Series: Eighth Air Force Series , #4
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

A native of New York Mills, New York, Cheryl Pula is a retired Reference Librarian with a B.S. degree in Russian Language and a minor in German. She went back to school and received a Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she is a lifetime member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association. Her first library position was as the supervisor of the Lending Department at the Mid-York Library System in Utica, where she performed all the reference and research work for the system's 43 member libraries. In 1988, Pula was awarded the New York Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Award. She served on the Board of Trustees of the New York Mills Public Library. A founding member of the New York Mills Historical Society, serving as its first president in the late 1970's, Cheryl is currently the village historian of New York Mills and President of The History Club, which she founded in Whitesboro in 1995. She is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary of the Arthur Moran Post #66 in Camden, New York, as well as an honorary member of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association of Memphis, Tennessee. Cheryl was elected "Historian of the Year" by the Oneida County Historian's Association in 2006. In 2010, she was listed in Who's Who In America. Cheryl is one of the co-authors of Ethnic Utica, published in 1994 by Utica College. With her brother, she is co-author and co-editor of a book on the Civil War regiments from Oneida County, which was published by the Eugene Nassar Ethnic Studies Department of Utica College in November 2010 entitled, With Courage and Honor: Oneida County's Role in the Civil War. She is a contributing author, co-editor and served as proofreader for The Polish-American Encyclopedia, published by McFarland Publishers in January 2011. For her work on the Encyclopedia, she was awarded the Polish-American Historical Society's Distinguished Achievement Award in January 2012. She is also the author of the series of novels about Eighth Air Force B-17 bomber crews in World War II England. The first book in the series is, The Children's Crusade, was published by Whitehall Publishing. This is the fourth book in the series of eight books. Cheryl is also a national speaker. To learn more about Cheryl Pula or to schedule her to speak at your next event, we invite you to visit her website at:

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