Finding a Fallen Hero: The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- University of Oklahoma Press
An author’s quest to discover what really happened to his uncle in World War II
To all appearances, Anthony “Tony” Korkuc was just another casualty of World War II. A gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, Korkuc was lost on a bombing mission over Germany, and his family believed that his body had never been recovered. But when they learned in 1995 that Tony was actually buried at Arlington National Cemetery, his nephew Bob Korkuc set out on a seven-year quest to learn the true fate of an uncle he never knew.
Finding a Fallen Hero is a compelling story that blends a wartime drama with a primer on specialized research. Author Bob Korkuc initially set out to learn how his Uncle Tony came to rest at Arlington. In the process, he also unraveled the mystery of what occurred over the skies of Germany half a century ago.
Korkuc dug up military documents and private letters and interviewed people in both the United States and Germany. He tracked down surviving crewmembers and even found the brother of the Luftwaffe pilot who downed the B-17. Dozens of photographs help readers envision both Tony Korkuc’s fateful flight and his nephew’s dogged search for the truth.
A gripping chronicle of exhaustive research, Finding a Fallen Hero will strike a chord with any reader who has lost a family member to war. And it will inspire others to satisfy their own unanswered questions.
|Publisher:||University of Oklahoma Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Bob Korkuc is an electrical engineer who lives in Amherst, New Hampshire.
James M. McCaffrey is retired as Professor of History at the University of Houston–Downtown and is author of several books, including Inside the Spanish-American War: A History Based on First-Person Accounts.
Table of Contents
Foreword James M. McCaffrey ix
Mourning a Hero 3
The Loss of a Flying Fortress 18
Revelations from Willmandingen 36
Flying Machines and Memories 55
On the Road to Find Out 74
Family Ties 94
With the Men of the 381st 118
The Ball's-Eye View 133
Twelve O'Clock High 147
The Eagle and the Swallow 165
The Earl King's Demand 191
Coming Full Circle 207
The Last Day of the Big Week 213
Web Resources 246
What People are Saying About This
Robert Korkuc has written a book that succeeds magnificently on two levels: as a relentless search for a loved one in World War II and as an intimate portrait of a bomber crew. The book grabs the reader from page one and never lets go.--Donald L. Miller, author of Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War against Nazi Germany
A riveting story of what must have been one of the most dangerous and vulnerable jobs in all of war. --Ken Burns
A moving, well-researched personal journey into the world that the author's uncle, a B-17 ball turret gunner, experienced in World War II. Anyone who wishes to understand the deep psychic effect that a soldier's death can have on so many people, during and after the war, should read this excellent book. --John C. McManus, author of Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II
Korkuc illuminates the wide, interlocking circles of grief that every act of combat creates and the enduring wounds carried by those who fight our wars and those who love the fighters. --Gregory J. W. Urwin, author of Facing Fearful Odds: the Siege of Wake Island
Mr. Korkuc takes us on a seven-year quest to learn the fate of his uncle, one of the thousands of American airmen lost in the air war over Europe in World War II. Moving from one clue to another, Korkuc ultimately gains final resolution on how his uncle perished and achieves closure on a family tragedy. --W. Raymond Wood, author of Or Go Down in Flame: The Death of a Navigator over Schweinfurt