The Greatest Generation of Silver wings

It was a little more than 62 years ago that the lives of many young men were about to be changed forever. When The United States was attacked by the Japanese, and Germany declared war upon us, we were not prepared to go to war with these two powerful nations. But it did not take long for our country to respond in kind, with The Doolittle Raider attack on the Japanese mainland in April 1942, our victory at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, and our first bomber attacks against the Germans in July 1942.

Young men, who had already finished high school, were attending or had graduated from college and had taken jobs, were the first to respond to the call by enlisting in the Army Air Corps. They became the first pilots and airmen to man the B-17's, B-24's, P-51's, and other aircraft necessary to prosecute the defense of the free world, now taken over by totalitarian regimes.

While these first enlistees were already in the heat of the air war battle, some of these young men were still in high school. Little did they know that within one to two years, they too would be flying high above Europe, risking their lives on a daily basis, and that some would have become prisoners of the Germans after being shot down.

This book contains interviews with 33 of these men, who are now in their seventies and eighties. Some stories are long and some short, but all giving a glimpse into the caliber of young patriotic American men that grew up during the Depression years.

Two of these men were to lose their sons in the Viet Nam war some twenty years later, with one son being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. One man had spent Halloween in New York City, Thanksgiving in London, and Christmas Day on a tram in the heart of Berlin, as a Prisoner of War. He had fallen 27,500 feet in the tail of an exploded B-17 and lived. He was just 19 years old by two months.

The training and experiences were much the same for many of these men, but each story has its own unique twist, personal struggle and reward.

Many of these men, of "The Greatest Generation of Silver Wings", are now passing on to that 'Hanger in the Heavens', so it is imperative that these stories are recorded for the following generations to read and understand their contribution and sacrifice.

Between December 7, 1941, and August 15, 1945, the Army Air Corps trained 193,000 Pilots, 50,000 Navigators, 45,000 Bombardiers, and 297,000 Aerial Gunners, so I have only touched upon a very small percentage of these heroes of the air. It is my hope that after reading this book, the reader will come away with an increased appreciation of what these men faced and be able to pass along their legacy.

Represented here are men from BG/BS's: 490/848; 487/836; 384/546; 301/353; 392/577; 25/654; 463/773; 493/860; 446/706; 306/367; 447/710; 44/66; 485/831; 305/364; 460/761; 401/614; 44/67; 100/418; 92/327; 384/545; 486/833; 485/829; 303/427; 301/32; 20th AF; 364 FG; ASTP;95th BG; 50th Troop Carrier Sq; AF Intel Unit A-2


The book is over 257 pages, with stories, photos, maps, and diagrams, and will be available hard cover and all will be signed by the author. Please allow about 6 weeks to receive your copy. It will be a limited edition, sold directly to you, and will not be sold in bookstores at this time. If you are a book collector, especially WWII military aviation books, this is a 'must' book to add to your library.


The cost of the book is $39.95 for the hard cover edition which includes postage to your home.



Don Ward


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