Raised by their single mother and grandmother and living on the minimum wage, two brothers became pilots in WWII. One flew B-17 bombers; the other flew P-47 and P-51 fighters. Both were killed in action. Prolific letter writers, the brothers wrote more than 200 letters to their mother between 1942 and 1945 describing their new adventures in their ever more dangerous world. In these letters, discovered many years later by her grandson, you will see in a very personal way the war a mother saw as presented to her by her sons. Not a technical description of military tactics, battles, and jargon, the letters instead create a simple yet profound human interest story of a small, close knit American family torn apart by the reality of war. You'll read of both the loneliness and excitement they felt being away from home for the first time, see them grow from awestruck boys when they first observe military planes up close to confident pilots of the fastest and largest planes in the AAF. You will even take a ride on a dangerous combat mission. You will find out about their frustrations, perseverance, humor, courage, and relationships. But mostly you will see how two brothers with totally different personalities, reflected even in the types of planes they flew, shared a common bond of love for their mother that was unshakable. When the letters stop, you will get to read the dreaded telegrams from the War Department that took their place. And finally you get to actually hear from their mother as she describes her worst fears and the ultimate tragedy with which she was confronted as the horror of war came home to her, not once but twice. Besides the letters, there is a section of very dramatic eyewitness accounts explaining what happened to the brothers on each of their final missions. There is also a brief biographical sketch of the women who loved them and were left behind. The book is enhanced with numerous pictures with descriptive captions. For WWII aviation buffs there is a detailed list of the types of aircraft each brother trained on, including the hours and specific training facility.
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