History of this story, which has now become a newly-completed novel,
byMark Druck, retired Major, USAFR, entitled: "BIX & BONES "
Original version of this material, written in 1946, by a young officer just returned from WWII, writing of experiences he had just been through, focusing on the B-25 "wild ride," the sort of missions he flew in the 38th Bomb Group, 5th U.S. Army Air Force, against the Japanese.
The missions were truly unique, flown in Billy Mitchell bombers, coming in over a target at altitudes UNDER 20 FEET, at 300 to 350 MPH, with parachutes on the bombs to slow their approximately 15-foot drop, thus enabling the bomber to escape the bomb blast.
Knowing nothing of structure for a novel, he wrote a sort of 'my life in combat' story.
Having completed this work, he came to New York, met a literary agent, Maurice Crane, with MacIntosh & Otis agency, who had been a gunner on a B-17 over Germany. His plane was shot down, he became a prisoner of war. When men in the camp learned he was an agent, they 'promised' Crane to send their novels to him. As a result, he collected dozens of mss. When the early version of this mss came in, 'over the transom,' Crane decided it would be 'one of the six' war stories he would represent. He praised the characterizations and dialogue as 'most valid.'
Then came June, 1950. The Korean War. Crane phoned to say "War is no longer in fashion." He returned all six of the mss he had collected on WWII.
Slow fade to 1978. Having met the Weisers, Olga was told about the war novel. "Let George read it," she said. It was submitted on Thursday. Two business days later - Monday - Olga called to say "We sold it." It was published under the title, "The Final Mission," as a paperback.
Zebra Books was thought to have printed 65,000 copies of the novel.
Meanwhile, drastic changes had been made in the basic story and characters.
In 1948, he studied playwrighting at the Dramatic Workshop, then a famous theatre school, he was directed to go there by the theatre world's most famous playwright agent, Harold Freedman (he represented nearly all the then successful playwrights in USA and England - of any 10 plays and musicals produced on Broadway and the West End, London during period from late 1920s-1960s, Harold Freedman represented probably six or seven).
History of the material in 'BIX &BONES' - page 2
During his studies under Irwin Piscator, the famous German director, who ran the theatre school, which became part of the NEW SCHOOL, he dramatized the material in the mss. It became a drama, titled, "All-American," and won an award as one of the best Off-Broadway plays of l949.
In dramatizing the material and background and characters and dialogue, he created a plot, reorganized the characters to make them three-dimensional, and invented a basic conflict.
The basic plot, the new characters, the one-on-one situations that were in that play are now the basis of the current version of the novel, called BIX & BONES:
Harold Freedman, who had become his agent by this time (representing Druck on four plays at the time of his sudden death), felt the play could be sold to movies, because of the strong head-to-head conflict between the lead characters, the action scenes, and the dialogue. He had sold many plays to movies, including My Fair Lady, for the biggest price paid for a property up to that time, and including leasing for ten years the film rights of Harvey.
He described "Bix & Bones" as the "Journey's End" of WWII