'Mighty by Sacrifice' - a new book about the loss of 20th Sqdn on Aug 29,1944

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by seesul, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    #1 seesul, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
    Although I´m in close connection with the 2nd BG vets assn, I didn´t know anything about this book and found it by chance yesterday:

    Mighty by Sacrifice
    The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944


    by James L. Noles, Sr, James L. Noles Jr.

    The high cost of the Allied air offensive during World War II.

    On August 29, 1944, the 15th U.S. Army Air Force unleashed 500 bombers against oil and rail targets throughout central Europe. It dispatched the 20th Squadron of the 2nd Bombardment Group on what they regarded as an easy assignment: attack the Privoser Oil Refinery and associated railroad yards at Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. This "milk run" deteriorated into the bloodiest day in the 2nd Bombardment Group's history: not a single one of the 20th Squadron's B-17 Flying Fortress bombers returned from the mission. Forty airmen were killed, another 46 spent the rest of the war as POWs, and only four, with the aid of the OSS and anti-German partisans, and sympathetic Czech civilians managed to evade capture.

    The ninety airmen on the mission to Moravska Ostrava provide a remarkable personal window into the Allies' Combined Bomber Offensive at its height during WWII. In a microcosm, their stories encapsulate how the U.S. Army Air Forces built, trained, and employed one of the mightiest war machines ever seen. Their stories also illustrate, however, the terrible cost in lives demanded by that same machine.

    "This book is original as it is the only one that I have seen (in over 35 years) that deals with a number of crews on a specific mission, that covers in detail prewar background on the individuals, training, combat, post shoot down, prisoner of war time, and post war experiences. It is also unique in that most of the literature in this genre is on the 8th Air Force, while this one covers the very much overlooked 15th." --Kenneth P. Werrell, author of Blankets of Fire: U.S. Bombers over Japan during World War II

    James L. Noles is a retired Army officer whose career culminated at the rank of brigadier general. He now resides in Florence, Alabama.

    James L. Noles Jr. is an independent historian and partner with the Birmingham, Alabama, law firm of Balch and Bingham. He is author of several books, including Twenty-Three Minutes to Eternity: The Final Voyage of the Escort Carrier USS Liscome Bay.


    source: Welcome to The University of Alabama Press search page

    The Second Bombardment Group -- and, in particular, the 20th Squadron -- is the subject of a book being published by the University of Alabama Press.


    Mighty by Sacrifice: The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944, is slated to arrive in book stores in late July 2009.

    Mighty by Sacrifice tells the story of the Group's ill-fated mission to bomb an oil refinery and railroad marshaling yard in Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, in 1944. The 20th Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, dispatched seven bombers to participate in the raid. All seven, however, were shot down by German fighters, as were several other bombers.

    Mighty by Sacrifice focuses on several of the airmen on this mission, thereby providing a remarkable personal window into the Allies’ Combined Bomber Offensive at its height during WWII. In a microcosm, their stories encapsulate how the U.S. Army Air Force built, trained, and employed one of the mightiest war machines ever seen. Their stories also illustrate, however, the terrible cost in lives demanded by that same machine.

    Veterans interviewed for the book include Loy Dickinson, the late Bill Garland, Jim Martin, the late Willard Netzley, Joseph Owsianik, Duane Seaman, Ed Smith, Paul Sumner, the late Bill Tune, and Leo Zupan. Familes of other veterans and casualties of the mission were also interviewed.

    The book has already garnered high praise in academic circles. "This is a great story that deserves to be told," said Stephen L. McFarland, the coauthor of To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority over Germany, 1942–1944. "The authors do such a wonderful job of relating the terror and speed of aerial combat.”

    The book is authored by James L. Noles, Jr., and his father, James L. Noles.

    Noles, Jr., is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and is an attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the author of last year's A Pocketful of History: Four Hundred Years of American -- One State Quarter at a Time and 2004's Twenty-Three Minutes to Eternity: The Final Voyage of the Escort Carrier USS Liscome Bay (also published by the University of Alabama Press).

    Noles' co-author and father is a retired Army officer who currently resides in Florence, Alabama.

    The title, Noles explains, comes from a line in Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Islanders," which reads in part, "Cleansed of servile panic, slow to dread or despise. Humble because of knowledge, mighty by sacrifice."

    Both authors credit the gracious assistance they received in researching this book from the mission's veterans and their families. "It simply would have been impossible to write this book without them," they said, "and we certainly hope that we honored their and their loved ones' legacy and sacrifice with our work. Frankly, that was our main goal."


    source: Second Bomb Group
     

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  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting Seesul. Thanks for the heads up. Will be on my list to purchase.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Looks interesting. Not much is written abbout the 15th AF.
     
  4. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Yes. And you probably know that Aug 29, 1944 is 'my day'. All those 7 Forts went down very close to my born town. And 28 US airmen were buried in my born town...
    And that guy in my siggy, Joe Owsianik, managed to bail out. Thanks to his parachute he became my best friend overseas forever...
     
  5. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  6. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    That´s him at the mass grave in my born town, 2007.
    From L to R - Todd Weiler, a nephew of Jimmy Weiler who was KIA that day, and Joe Owsianik, a mission 263 survivor
     

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  7. mudpuppy

    mudpuppy Member

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    Good photos, seesul.. And thanks for the heads up on this book. Think I'm going to have to add this to my list of books to get.
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool seesul, thanks for sharing!
     
  9. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Many thanks seesul!!!
     
  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    My pleasure.
     
  11. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    This year we have a 65th anniversary commemoration of this battle. Sorry to say Joe´s not going to visit us due to his health problems. I´ll be missing him...
    Anyway, we still have 9 Americans and 2 Brits (Airframes and Rochie) attending this event.
     
  12. Airbone Bunny

    Airbone Bunny New Member

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    very interesting indeed
     
  13. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Definitely will keep an eye out for it 8)
     
  14. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    I got it few days ago and it is...great!
    It is only a shame that publisher forced the author to reduce the number of the pages to 400 from 600...
     
  15. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    That's too bad that they reduced it's size by 200 pages. Imagine all the extra info and history that was taken out! What a shame!
     
  16. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    #17 seesul, Sep 2, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
    Yep, it is. Help to sell out the 1st edition as soon as possible and maybe one day...the 2nd edition would see the light of this world...which would be nice8)
     
  17. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Roman what did they use as their German Luftwaffe source(s) ? or did they ?

    E ~
     
  18. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hi Erich,

    gotta check it out. One of the sources was W.R.´s book as well. Do you want me to send you an e-mail address of the author?
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    that would be great Roman I need to get something in front of me bookwise to inspire me, am tired of all the family conflict and death this year, time to get re-motivated for the JG 301 text ........
     
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