Life as a POW: Aerial Gunner’s Story Preserves History in New Book

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Recounting the struggle and survival of a World War II veteran

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I felt I needed to record his experiences to hand down to his children and grandchildren, but the more I found out, the more I realized how amazing his early life was.

An ex-prisoner of war is now coming forward about his journey in a book aimed at preserving history with a touch of humor.

In Out of the Turret and into Hell, author V. Elaine Benson brings readers a ticket back into history. Presented as a retrospect from the memory of a man who always wanted to fly, the book follows the life of Earl Benson, whose story brings readers through the Great Depression and into the trauma of capture and survival in German prison camps.

The author, Earl’s wife, says she realized the importance of preserving his story when she heard him talking to other ex-POW’s.

“I felt I needed to record his experiences to hand down to his children and grandchildren, but the more I found out, the more I realized how amazing his early life was,” she says. “It’s not just another history to pass down through the generations.”

After writing letters to many of Earl’s former crewmembers, V. Elaine Benson was able to incorporate their accounts into the book, recreating scenes and conversations from the past. The detailed account combines both humor and history to entertain and educate the youngest and oldest of readers.

“I’m not a hero,” says Earl Benson. “The ones who didn’t make it back are.”

About the author

V. Elaine Benson, born in Dearborn, Mich., began her writing career with this novel. She earned a diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature in 1998 and continues to work toward her goal of writing well enough to touch others’ hearts.

Earl Benson, the book’s central figure and the author’s husband, was a B-17 ball turret gunner who fought in World War II. When his plane was shot down over Belgium in 1943, his story about life, death and survival begins.

EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Jessica Kiefer
Tel: 317.602.7137
Fax: 317.536.3775
Email: jkiefer(at)bohlsenpr(dot)com
(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

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Jessica Kiefer
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317-602-7137
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