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Books




* * * This book list is most certainly incomplete: Many articles have been written about this topic, and if you know of any books covering the 8th Air Force 457th Bombardment Group (H) that should also be listed here in this index, please e-mail the relevant information to our webmaster at webmaster@457thbombgroupassoc.org. Thank you!

Lest They Forget Freedom’s Price Memoirs of a WWII Bomber Pilot by Lt. Col. (retired) Edward M. Bender, USAFR

 
Lest They Forget Freedom’s Price
Memoirs of a WWII Bomber Pilot
  by Lt. Col. (retired) Edward M. Bender, USAFR

 

  This is the fascinating story of B-17 bomber pilot, Lt. Col. Edward M. Bender, (USAAFR, retired) who describes his flight training, bomber missions, capture and time as a prisoner of war in WWII Germany. 

  When fire forces his Flying Fortress down in enemy-occupied France, Bender is captured by Nazi recruits from Hitler’s Youth Corps. He vividly recounts his year as a prisoner of the Third Reich, confined in camps in Sagan, Nurnberg, and Moosburg, and the bitterly-cold forced march of winter, 1945, when Stalag Luft III was evacuated ahead of the advancing Russian Army. 

  Finally, he describes his liberation by General Patton’s Third Army and his return home to adapt to the challenges of post-war America. Told with humor and pathos, this narrative provides a portrait of life in war-time Europe and the often-forgotten sacrifices of WWII veterans and prisoners of war.

AuthorHouse (TM) 
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200 
Bloomington, IN 47403 
www.authorhouse.com 
Phone: 1-800-839-8640
Copyright © 2008 Lt. Col. (retired) Edward M. Bender, USAFR.
ISBN: 978-1-4389-6073-9 (sc)

Tales of Woe As well as other preposterous but humorous events by J. Francies Angier

 
Tales of Woe
As well as other preposterous but humorous events
  by J. Francies Angier

  J. Francis Angier was raised on a farm in New Haven, Vermont, and had an early interest in aviation. This led to his participation in World War II as the pilot of B-17 bombers with the 8th Air Force flying missions out of England. 

  Near the end of his tour he was shot down over Germany and became a prisoner of war. He and fellow airmen were sentenced to death three times by order of Adolph Hitler but were saved in the last hours by the German Luftwaffe just before American forces reached their prison. His exposure to the nearby concentration camps where the Nazis killed millions of people made a profound effect on Francis. He claims to have cultivated a sense of humor to use as a crutch to help block out those memories.

Published by J. Francis Angier 
Printed by Blanchard Litho / 3 Conley Street Sherbrooke, Quebec J1M 1L8 Canada 
Edited by The Little House Desktop Publishing / West Glover, VT 05875
Copyright © 2008 by J. Francis Angier
ISBN: 978-0-615-22994-2

Into Life’s School: My World War II Memories by Clifford B. “CB” Digre / Veteran of the 457th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force

 
Into Life’s School:
My World War II Memories
  by Clifford B. “CB” Digre / Veteran of the 457th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force

  What happens when a small-town kid from rural America is called up to serve his country in the Army Air Corps in England during World War II? 

  Clifford B. Digre from Hendricks, Minnesota, leaves his roots to travel across America and the world as he learns the lessons of “Life’s School.” 

  You will laugh and you will cry as Digre takes us through real human drama, and what it was like for a young man to take on responsibilities of military training, flying missions, and struggling to get on with his life.

Printed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on acid-free paper. 
www.intolifesschool.com 
Copyright © 2009 by Clifford B. Digre
ISBN: 978-0-615-22541-8

Ready Or Not / Into the Wild Blue The Aviation Career of a B-17 Pilot, 457th Bomb Group 8th AAF by J. Francis Angier / Major, (RET.)

 
Ready Or Not / Into the Wild Blue
The Aviation Career of a B-17 Pilot, 457th Bomb Group 8th AAF
  by J. Francis Angier / Major, (RET.)

  “Some gave little. Some gave more. Some gave all.” J. Francis Angier was raised on a Vermont farm and became a B-17 pilot during WWII. Shot down over Germany in 1944, he spent seven months as a POW. His training, air battles, capture and survival are part of the story. So, too, are the many experiences that positioned and prepared him for his part in the air war over Europe. 

  In Ready or Not, you’ll come to understand and appreciate one of the many heroes of what author and journalist Tom Brokaw has called, “The Greatest Generation”.

Success Networks International 
2048 Win-Win Way 
South Burlington, Vermont 05407-2048 
Copyright © 2003 J. Francis Angier and Success Networks International, Inc.
ISBN: 0-9704-1751-9

The Sky Is Falling by Arthur Weingarten

 
The Sky Is Falling
 
  by Arthur Weingarten

   The story of a B-25 bomber that crashed into the Empire State Building in July 1945. 
Detailed reconstruction of incident. 

Copyright

The Fireball Outfit The 457th Bombardment Group in the Skies Over Europe by Ken Blakebrough

 
The Fireball Outfit
The 457th Bombardment Group in the Skies Over Europe
   by Ken Blakebrough 
This is one of the Army Air Force Unit Histories created and edited by Kenn C. Rust

 

  “My seven months of duty with the 457th Group, known at the time as the Fireball Outfit, left an indelible impression upon my heart and mind. The flight of more than 20 post war years has failed to erase from my memory such odd-sounding names as Politz, Peenemunde, Chemnitz, Lutzkendorf and, sharpest of all, Merseberg. What follows is the story of The Merseburg Mission. It is also the story of 235 other bombing missions which were, in a lesser degree, also Merseburgs.” – Ken BLakebrough 

  Fly with the B-17 Flying Fortresses over Europe as they wade through a malestrom of flak, Me 109s and FW 190s visiting such deadly targets as Merseburg & Politz. Written by a 457th pilot. Full mission list.

Aero Publishers, Inc. 
Copyright © 1968 Aero Publishers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
* * RARE & OUT OF PRINT * * 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 
68-54881

Dead Engine Kids World War II Diary of John J. Briol, B-17 Ball Turret Gunner Diary by John J. Briol Edited by John Welch

 
Dead Engine Kids
World War II Diary of John J. Briol, B-17 Ball Turret Gunner
  Diary by John J. Briol 
  Edited by John Welch

Excerpt: “Our target was the Synthetic Oil Refinery at Ruhland. We had to pass near Berlin on the way. Then it happened so quick you couldn’t think. We heard the report “Bandits”. The Nazi fighters came barreling through our formations before you could wink an eyelash. I watched terrified as three of our Fortresses went down in flames with their bomb loads and our buddies in them.

  I saw five men get out of one of them. The rest were lost. One of them kept falling, I never did see his chute open. We had one engine gone but we kept up with the formation to the target and left it in flames. It wasn’t long and another engine quit. Coming back from a mission and seeing the shore of England is the sweetest thing in the world…”

Silver Wings Aviation, Inc. 
2933 Country Club Drive 
Rapid City, SD 57702-5218
Copyright © 1993
ISBN: 0-9637909-0-0

Black Puff Polly And Other Flights To Eternity Edited by Lt. Colonel Roland O. Byers, USAFR (Ret.)

 
Black Puff Polly
And Other Flights To Eternity
   Edited by Lt. Colonel Roland O. Byers, USAFR (Ret.)

   “It was those who were shot up badly, or were shot down and taken as prisoners of war, that experienced the extremes of the rigors of aerial combat and participated in a ‘FLIGHT TO ETERNITY’. Many men died on these flights and it is up to those who survived to tell their story.” 

   The contents of this book are, for the most part, composed of first-person stories by 457th Bomb Group, B-17 aircrew members of the 8th Air Force who were shot down and became casualties of aerial combat over occupied Europe and Germany during World War II. In an attempt to provide the reader with some information about WWII from the German viewpoint, a chapter is included which was provided by a German Luftwaffe fighter pilot who fought against the American bomber crews.

Pawpaw Press 
P.O. Box 9191 
Moscow ID 83843
Copyright © 1991 by Roland O. Byers
ISBN: 0-9614563-2-9

Flak Dodger A Story Of The 457th Bomb Group (H) During World War II by Lt. Colonel Roland Byers, USAFR (Ret.)

 
Flak Dodger
A Story Of The 457th Bomb Group (H) During World War II
   by Lt. Colonel Roland Byers, USAFR (Ret.)

  “Her serial number was #42-97075 and she was a real Boeing – there were differences and a Boeing was always the best. I could tell the difference as soon as I stepped into the cockpit – as I could about her Wright Cyclone engines.” 

  “She was the first silver B-17 to be assigned to the 457th Bomb Group and I got her.”

Pawpaw Press 
P.O. Box 9191 
Moscow, Idaho 83843
Copyright © 1985 by Roland O. Buyers. All Rights Reserved under Pan-American and International Conventions.
ISBN: 0-9614563-0-2

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H) Fait Accompli III The Fireball Outfit Compiled by James L. Bass Edited by Craig Harris

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H)
Fait Accompli III
The Fireball Outfit
  Compiled by James L. Bass   Edited by Craig Harris

  The defining period of the Twentieth Century was the war time period 1941-1945. Had it not been for the all out effort of so many, the result could have been different. It was a struggle of good over evil. 

  Fait Accompli III completes the “Fait Accompli” triology and combines recollections of the participants with those of English friends and those who were on the home front.

JLB Publications 
P.O. Box 500 
Carthage, TN 37030
© Copyright 2000. James L. Bass. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN: 0-9648925-2-9

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H) Fait Accompli II The Fireball Outfit by James L. Bass

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H)
Fait Accompli II
The Fireball Outfit
  by James L. Bass

  If one picture is worth a thousand words, this pictorial account of one bomb group that went forth to contribute to the cause of freedom at a time when the very foundation of our way of life was threatened … 

  Fait Accompli II attempts to provide in pictures, a sequence of events of the 457th Bomb Group, and organization that existed over half a century ago.

JLB Publications 
P.O. Box 500 
Carthage, TN 37030
© Copyright 1998. James L. Bass. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN: 0-9648925-1-0

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H) Fait Accompli The Fireball Outfit Compiled by Homer Briggs and James L. Bass

A Historical Account of the 457th Bomb Group (H)
Fait Accompli
The Fireball Outfit
  Compiled by Homer Briggs and James L. Bass   Edited by John F. Welch

  The 457th Bombardment Group (H), which dubbed itself the “Fireball Outfit”, was one of over sixty heavy bombardment groups that participated in the air campaigns over Europe during the Second World War. 

  “Fait Accompli” is an historical account of the contributions this organisation made to the all-out effort that ultimately led to the unconditional surrender of the Axis forces.

JLB Publications 
P.O. Box 500 
Carthage, TN 37030
© Copyright 1995. James L. Bass. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN: 0-9648926-0-2

Bailout by Don Charles Osborne

Bailout
  by Don Charles Osborne

 

  Bailout, Don Charles Osborne’s memoir of his service in the Second World War, begins in the summer of 1944 when the war in Europe was in its fifth year, and Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich occupied the continent. The U.S. Eighth Air Force was in the second year of its assignment – “Destroy Germany’s capability and will to carry on the war.” 

  Shot down over Germany in October of 1944, Don spent over seven months as a POW before being liberated at the close of the European campaign.

Vantage Press, Inc. 
419 Park Ave. South 
New York, NY 10016
Copyright © 2009 by Don Charles Osborne
ISBN: 978-0-533-15822-5