The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24 over Germany

By Behncke, Ted J. | Military Review, March/April 2003 | Go to article overview

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24 over Germany


Behncke, Ted J., Military Review


THE WILD BLUE: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany, Stephen E. Ambrose, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2001, 299 pages, $26.00.

There has been considerable material written about World War II Army Air Forces. The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany is a compelling story of heroism, commitment, and death on a scale perhaps not matched since that time. The majority of the information in the record focuses on the men of the Eighth Air Force headquartered in England and on the Boeing B-17 heavy bomber. Far less has been chronicled on the other theaters of the war or the other American heavy bomber-the Consolidated B-24. In his latest book, In the Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose attempts to shed light on these lesser-known subjects.

Ambrose is no stranger to World War II stories, especially from the perspective of the individual fighting man. He is the author of several best sellers about World War II, most notably Citizen Soldier: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945 (Touchstone Books, New York, 1998) and D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II (Touchstone Books, New York, 1995), which are excellent books. In The Wild Blue, Ambrose tells the story of Lieutenant George McGovern, a B-24 pilot and member of the Fifteenth Air Force headquartered in Italy. McGovern survived the war and became a U. …

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