Through These Eyes by James Lee Hutchinson

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"This is the story of Eighth Air Force bombing missions leaving England to blast targets in Hitler''s Third Reich in 1944-45. Each clear day, the skies filled with hundreds of B17 Flying Fortress bombers and their escorts crossing the English Channel toward enemy targets protected by anti-aircraft batteries and German fighters waiting to attack the heavy bombers.

The skies over the target were filled with black flak appearing to be so thick you could walk on it! The exploding shells filled the space with flying chunks of iron as bombers started their bomb run on the target. We often could hear the flak pelting our plance like a ''buckshot'' on a tin roof. This flak would often strike a vital part of the plane or wound a member of the crew! Our waist gunner was wounded on our tenth mission!Some missions we could count hundreds of holes in our plane after we landed safely in England! Bombers receiving a direct hit were blown out of the sky and another ten man aircrew was lost. Planes severely damaged had to drop out of formation and face enemy fighters alone unless some of our P-51 or P-47 escort fighters protected them. Bombers disabled or on fire had no choice but to order the crews to bail out. Airmen who survived the parachute jump were captured and placed into German prisoner of war camps (POW). They were classified as ""missing in action"".

Forty-eight photos, some sixty years old are included in this 350 page book to illustrate the story of the author's childhood in the Great Depression through the great air war of World War II. A description of each mission from a sixty year old diary is included. I think you will enjoy the story of a teenage Radio-Gunner''s experiences in the Mighty Eighth Air Force. "

About James Lee Hutchinson

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Hutch" grew up in the hills of southern Indiana during the Great Depression. He was one of the sixteen million youngsters who served in the armed forces during Woorld War II. The author served as a radio operator/gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 490 th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force. His story includes a copy of of his diary that describe his experiences during eighteen combat missions over Germany. Home from the war at age twenty, he attended Indiana University on the G.I. Bill. He earned a B.S. in Education in 1949 majoring in history and journalism, a Masters degree in education in 1952, and an Ed.S. in school administration in 1967. During his 37 years of experience in the public schools, he served as an elementary teacher, Principal, and Special Projects Assistant to the Superintendent of schools. Community activities include being an ordained elder in the Presbyterian church, president of the Rotary Club and Paul Harris award winner, member of the Masonic Lodge for 46 years, and president of various educational groups such as the Retired Teacher's Association. Hobbies include golf, horseback riding, traveling, and WWII history. Mr. Hutchinson and his wife, June, (also a retired teacher) recently celebrated their 58th anniversary. They reside on an eighty acre farm in southern Indiana and have two horses. Like the cowboy heroes of his youth, he can still ride off into the sunset.
Published October 5, 2005 by AuthorHouse. 255 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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