Rite of Passage by Ray Matheny
A Teenager's Chronicle of Combat and Captivity in Nazi Germany

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Drawing on a vast array of original source material that has survived for decades and previously classified information, this thrilling narrative history documents a young soldier’s miraculous survival in war-torn Europe during World War II. Soon after joining the U.S. Army Corps, a wiry, baby-faced 17-year-old found himself a seasoned warrior desperately battling head-to-head against the Luftwaffe’s best fighter pilots over Nazi Germany. Having amazingly escaped the fiery wreckage of his B-17, he relied on his ingenuity and determination to get him through two bitter winters in confinement as a POW in the infamous Stalag 17. Along with other American prisoners, he was coerced to flee the rapidly advancing Red Army as the European war came to a close and endure a brutal 18-day march where he witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Mauthausen concentration camp. Weighing an emaciated 110 pounds, he was finally rescued by Patton’s Third Army just days before Germany surrendered.


About Ray Matheny

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Ray Matheny served as a flight engineer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and as an aircraft inspector for the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He went on to distinguished careers as an archaeologist, professor, researcher, and scholar and is still an active participant in archaeological digs around the world. He lives in Lindon, Utah. Gen. Johannes Steinhoff was a highly decorated pilot in the German Luftwaffe during World War II who later became commander of the West German Air Force and chairman of the NATO Military Committee. He was the author of The Final Hours, Messershmitts Over Sicily, and Voices from the Third Reich: An Oral History.
Published May 1, 2009 by American Legacy Media. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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