The Wild Blue by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45

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Stephen E. Ambrose, acclaimed author of Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage, carries us along in the crowded and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to destroy the German war machine during World War II.

The young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II fought against horrific odds, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with vivid detail and affection.

Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and selected the elite few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys—turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B-24s—who suffered over fifty percent casualties.

With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes. Many went down in flames.

As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldiers from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue illustrates the enormous contribution that these young men of the Army Air Forces made to the Allied victory.

About Stephen E. Ambrose

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Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than thirty books. Among his "New York Times" bestsellers are "Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, " and "Undaunted Courage". Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and a contributing editor for the "Quarterly Journal of Military History". He also participated in numerous national television programs, including shows appearing on the History Channel and "National Geographic.
Published August 14, 2001 by Simon & Schuster. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Travel, Professional & Technical, Literature & Fiction, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Another paean to the “greatest generation” of young Americans, this time focusing on the B-24 bomber crews—with special attention to the crew of the Dakota Queen, piloted by future US Senator and 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern.

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The New York Times

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Ambrose, a friend and supporter of McGovern for some 30 years, first intended this book as a history of McGovern's World War II career, but it quickly expanded to contain the experiences of many men who flew in the ''forgotten war'' -- the war in Italy that turned forgotten when Rome was taken an...

Sep 09 2001 | Read Full Review of The Wild Blue: The Men and Bo...

Publishers Weekly

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Brought to life by best-selling historian Ambrose (author of more than 20 books), here is one of America's forgotten workhorse weapons of WWII—the B-24 bomber.

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Book Reporter

In 1972 Senator George McGovern of South Dakota was the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wild Blue: The Men and Bo...


For most Americans, the name George McGovern is inextricably linked to his 1972 presidential campaign, a race that ended in a crushing, landslide victory for Richard Nixon.

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I obviously can't speak for the man, but I think he is justifiably proud of his record of service, and he wanted George McGovern to tell George McGovern's story.In your research for Wild Blue, what did you learn about McGovern's war experiences that surprised you?.

Feb 14 2017 | Read Full Review of The Wild Blue: The Men and Bo...

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