Academic journal article Military Review

Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II

Academic journal article Military Review

Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II

Article excerpt

DEADLY SKY: The American Combat Airman in World War II, John C. McManus, Presidio Press, Novato, CA, 2000, 435 pages, $32.95.

Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II, by John C. McManus, is the account of combat aircrews of all services as told in their own words. Occasionally, collections of reminisces are suspect because of what can happen to memory during the time between events and the retelling. However, McManus injects enough historical research to build a context for the veterans' anecdotes.

McManus is to be commended for the organization of his material. He follows a logical sequence beginning with the backgrounds of the principle contributors and of U.S. airmen in general. From there he follows them through training, first assignments, vagaries of the different theaters, flying missions, and ends with the men's reflections on the war and their comrades.

In the last chapter McManus analyzes why and what the airmen fought for. …

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