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Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story

Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story

by Mitchell Mark Topal
Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story

Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story

by Mitchell Mark Topal


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This book recounts the history of Raymond A. Firmani – from his humble beginnings as the son of poor Italian immigrants, to earning his wings as a B-17 pilot, completing twenty-five bombing missions and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, then on to participating fully in family life and a successful career in the aftermath of the war. A citizen airman of WWII, Ray risked his life every time he flew a combat mission. His experience during the war was unique, but it also has much in common with that of other veterans. The task before them was simple in concept yet colossal in scale: Rid the world of evil by stopping the Axis powers from levying atrocities on civilization and carrying forth their imperialistic intentions. Altruism reigned when our basic freedoms were openly threatened. Those men – practically boys at the time – and the women who joined them in service to their country, marched bravely into the unknown.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945604072
Publisher: Out of the Box Communications, ltd
Publication date: 03/07/2018
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents





1 Doughboy’s Son1

2 Growing Pains4

3 Looking Up7

4 Emerging Man15

5 Storm Front Approaching21

6 First Job at Dupont23

7 Reality Check30

8 It’s War!33

9 Who Will Go?37

10 Enlistment39

11 Fear Not What Lies Ahead42

12 Baptism by Barrackers45

13 College Training Detachment57

14 First Flight61

15 Stairway to the Sky64

16 First Solo Flight72

17 The Vibrator76

18 Pedras Negras84

19 Risk Management96

20 Lovebirds102

21 Wings and Disappointment112

22 Last Visit Home115

23 Nuptials in Nebraska120

24 The New Crew128

25 The Tennessee Bomber Boys130

26 Across the Pond137

27 Welcome to the War, Boys!146

28 Crossing the Rubicon157

29 Elaine’s Winter Fall175

30 Lather, Rinse and Repeat177

31 Santa at War184

32 Pissing into the Wind187

33 The Roanoke Magician192

34 New Year 1945200

35 Milk Run203

36 Downtime207

37 Air Medal211

38 Lead Crew213

39 Operation Clarion217

40 Command Deception223

41 London Calling230

42 Devastation at Swinemünde236

43 Away from the War241

44 The Going Gets Tough247

45 Meeting the Jet Age251

46 Above and Beyond258

47 Catastrophe at Parchim268

48 Polecat’s Farewell274

49 The Nation Mourns287

50 Happy Birthday, Hitler297

51 The 26th Mission302

52 The Distinguished Flying Cross308

53 The Flak Home and V-E Day312

54 The Victory Tour316

55 The Human Cost of War319

56 .45 Caliber Bacon323

57 The Flight Home328

58 The Family Reunion333

59 91 Degrees of Separation340






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