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Book News A collection of written reminisces supplemented by Klinkowitz's (English, U. of Iowa) commentary beginning with the memoir of Art Donohue who joined the British Royal Air Force in 1940. By 1942 over 200 Americans served in the RAF forming the US Army Air Force's 4th Fighter Group. The narrative accounts share personal experiences of being a flyer and gunner, showing the vastly different styles of air war in the North African and Mediterranean campaigns. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer In 1940 seven Americans volunteered for the British Royal Air Force in time to fly and fight in the Battle of Britain. Within a year, by the time the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States abruptly into World War II, 243 other Americans flew for the Royal Air Force in three Eagle Squadrons, units that in early 1942 became the nucleus of the United States Army Air Force's 4th Fighter Group. American combat in the European and Mediterranean theaters of World War II took on many dimensions, and Jerome Klinkowitz gathers for the first time important portions of over a hundred accounts of the European air war as written or told by the flyers themselves. This series of memoires begins with the accounts of Art Donahue, a Minnesota farm boy who lived long enough to write about his part in the war in Tally-Ho! Yankee in a Spitfire. Within a year Donahue had been joined by over two hundred of his countrymen, some of whom had been inspired by his book to serve in the RAF. Here came the fighter jocks, from John Godrey to Chuck Yeager, some of whom would be as flamboyant in their writing as in their flying. Then came the bombers, massive formations of appropriately named Flying Fortresses that with their ten-man crews carried the air war into Germany. Here everyone had a story, too, from Bomb Group Commander Beirne Lay Jr. to top turret gunner John Comer. And from each crew station the story was a bit different, from holding steady on a bomb run through nightmare flak to nursing a wounded buddy all the way back to base in England.