Hundreds of thousands of formerly ordinary Americans took to the sky with the US Army Air Forces
Harrisburg, PA (PRWEB) January 31, 2013
The skies over Europe from early 1942 through the spring of 1945 were full of American warplanes—an air armada bent on bringing down Nazi Germany and liberating Europe from Axis oppression. The men and machines of that great World War II armada will be the subject of AMERICA IN WWII’s spring 2013 print and digital special issue, AMERICAN AIR WAR: EUROPE.
Using aerial bombardment to pound Adolf Hitler’s petroleum supply, railroads, industry, infrastructure, and even battlefield positions was a major component of Allied victory in Europe in World War II. Hundreds of thousands of formerly ordinary Americans took to the sky with the 8th, 9th, 12th, and 15th US Army Air Forces. They piloted, crewed, or supported heavy and medium bombers, fighter planes, and transport planes hauling cargo, paratroopers, non-parachute infantry forces, or wounded evacuees.
“My dad was over there,” said AMERICA IN WWII publisher Jim Kushlan. “He was in the 9th Army Air Force, servicing and flying aboard Douglas A-26 Invader medium bombers.” Kushlan said his father’s stories—and those of people like a neighbor who was shot down and captured while flying aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress—still have power to stir us today.
“The incredible danger of flying through flak from enemy anti-aircraft guns, with shrapnel popping through the fuselage, must have been terrifying,” he remarked. “And then there were the German fighters…”
Early in World War II, Kushlan explained, American heavy bombers flew missions deep into Europe and even Germany itself. But US fighter planes sent to escort them lacked sufficient fuel capacity to make the journey there and back. As a result, the bombers lost fighter protection just when they needed it. The bombers’ gunners were the only defense against fast-flying, fast-firing Luftwaffe fighters, and many heavy bombers went down as a result.
Bomb missions and the role of fighters are only part of what AMERICAN AIR WAR: EUROPE will cover, says Kushlan. The special issue will also feature photos of aircraft nose art, bomber jackets, and the objects and equipment that US flyers used in Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Troop-carrier missions, Airmen’s life overseas, the experience of being captured, and personal narratives by army air forces veterans will be featured. Photos and graphics will show period US and enemy aircraft, and a special gallery will profile American air aces and heroic flyers of the European theater.
AMERICAN AIR WAR: EUROPE will be available in early March 2013. Pre-orders of the print edition are being accepted at http://www.AmericaInWWII.com/issues/specials/american-air-war-europe/. Orders can also be placed after publication. The issue will reach newsstands at Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other selected bookstores by March 26. Digital editions will be available by March 19 through the AMERICA IN WWII Special Issues apps on iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore, and on the Barnes & Noble Nook newsstand. Links to these apps are available at http://www.AmericaInWWII.com/subscriptions.
AMERICA IN WWII and AmericaInWWII.com are publications of 310 Publishing LLC of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a company committed to telling the stories of history in human terms.