Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power

by Marcus Nannini
Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power

by Marcus Nannini


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The autobiography of C-47 pilot and instructor, First Lieutenant Harry E. Watson, Jr, USAAF.

2022 IAN Book of the Year Awards, Third Place: Non-Fiction
2022 PenCraft Book Awards, Nonfiction - Biography 1st Place Winner
2021-2022 Overall Grand Prize Winner, Nonfiction, Readers Views
Silver Medalist, 2022 IPPY Book Awards
Finalist, 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
Finalist, American BookFest Awards

This is the story of an American C-47 ‘Dakota’ pilot who earned three Air Medals, seven Battle Stars and flew twenty-seven combat missions during the Second World War. As a young U.S. pilot, Harry Watson, arrived in Britain as the Battle of Normandy was reaching its crescendo. Thrown immediately into the fray, Harry, along with more than 200 aircraft, set off to carry supplies to the troops fighting in France. But with visibility reduced to zero, the aircraft were ordered to turn back – all did except Harry, who successfully delivered his life-saving cargo of blood and US Army nurses.

Harry continued to take risks, which resulted in many hair-raising episodes. This included almost being caught on the ground, while on an urgent fuel resupply mission for a platoon of General Patton’s tanks, by a German Mk.IV panzer and a battalion of supporting infantry.

He flew throughout Operation Market Garden, losing a close friend to German anti-aircraft fire while taking some hits to his own plane. Thereafter he led a flight of five transports on a desperate mission to evacuate a mobile field hospital that was about to be over-run by the SS. Only four of the planes made it back as they came under direct fire just before they could take-off with scores of casualties and medical personnel crammed aboard each Dakota.

Around midnight, in early April 1945, he was sent on a secret mission to fly to a point near Nuremberg, which was behind enemy lines at the time. It was necessary for him to locate an empty meadow in the dark, land, load a party of US soldiers and their captives, and then take-off again. He pulled it off. Among those prisoners was Franz von Pappen, the man who had persuaded President Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Von Papen had been seized at his own home by First Lieutenant Thomas McKinley and his men from the US 194th Glider Infantry Regiment.

Based on his own recollections, as told to the author Marcus Nanni, this is Harry Watson’s exciting account of the air war told, unusually, through the words of a transport pilot.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526792730
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 10/01/2021
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue vii

Chapter 1 Fueling Pattern's Tanks 1

Chapter 2 Courtney, Pennsylvania 21

Chapter 3 Growing up 26

Chapter 4 "You're in the Army Air Corps Now" 34

Chapter 5 God was his co-pilot. Aviation Cadet Class 43E 43

Chapter 6 Basic Pilot Training 53

Chapter 7 Advanced Pilot Training 62

Chapter 8 Bergstrom Army Airfield 73

Chapter 9 The Northern Route 83

Chapter 10 Greenham Common, England 92

Chapter 11 Blood Run to Orly 102

Chapter 12 Operation Market Garden 121

Chapter 13 Battle of the Bulge 143

Chapter 14 Emergency Evacuation 150

Chapter 15 A Second Market Garden 165

Chapter 16 Midnight Flight to Nuremberg 169

Chapter 17 Who was Franz von Papen? 180

Chapter 18 Victory in Europe 185

Chapter 19 The Post-War Years 194

Chapter 20 Harry's Last Flight West 198

Chapter 21 Letters from Harry to Junie, Danny and God 200

Author Biography 206

Index 210

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