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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 8th Air Force reading., 26 Dec. 2005
By 
Martin Bull - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
Five stars is totally justified for this book, which I've found literally un-put-downable. I've read many 8th AF memoirs, some good, some not so, but all have something valuable to tell us.
This is different to the average memoir or combat diary. Although the framework is one Navigators' diary, 8th AF historian O'Neill has woven many associated accounts and veteran interviews into what amounts to a combat history of the 303rd from August 1943 - February 1944 focussing on personal accounts. And there are some wonderful stories and anecdotes in this book - some exciting, some funny and some downright harrowing.
This revised and expanded edition is highly readable for anyone - and for anyone interested in the 'Mighty Eighth', I'd rate it as essential.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable courage, 6 May 2011
By 
David I. Brown (Stockport ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
Very good book detailing the missions of a bomber crew. Some times I found it a bit confussing as to which aircraft was in which part of the formation, but I think that was me rather than the book.

What I really liked was the way the same situation (downing of a fighter, a bomber going down etc) was described by different members of the crew, or crew from different aircraft. Even though it was the exact same situation, each perspective gave a different description.

Overall an incredible and sometimes horrowing read (young mem jumping from burning aircraft and their chutes burning up as they left the plane). The bravey of these young men should never be forgotten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account, 22 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
Since reading this book I've leant it to a couple of friends who also found it equally enthralling. I generally read the memoirs or accounts from fighter pilots, so this was a real eye opener. Definitely one of those books you just don't want to put down.

I once read that the gunners on board these bombers accidentally overestimated their kills, what with multiple gunners aiming at the same fighters and also the propensity of said fighters to smoke when in a dive. After reading the accounts in this book though and the way everything is so well documented it is hard not to believe every word you read.

The book certainly gives you a vivid picture of what it was like to be a crew member. Being pounded by flak and attacked by fighters, whilst at the same time watching helplessly as your comrades are shot out of the air around you must have been traumatic in the extreme. Add to that the mounting fear as your Fortress is slowly blown apart by the enemy and you start to get a handle on the horror. How some of these guys kept their heads under such horrendous odds is truly inspiring. This is an awesome account of the bravery and skill of the crew members and of the arbitrary nature of warfare, where luck often proved as important as talent.

I'd definitely recommend this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A white knuckle recollection of heroes., 23 Oct. 2013
By 
I. Strong (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
Brian D O'Neil has created a masterpiece of a book conveying the crew recollections of the European Theatre of Operations for the 303rd BG. It focuses primarily on Bob Hullar's crew who completed their tour of operations. I defy anyone to read the 'Schweinfurt Again' chapter without holding their breath and feeling moved by what these brave Americans went through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars present, 14 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
Bought this as a present for a 70 year old, he has loved it, and has loaned it to friends to read also.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mighty 8th, 10 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: B-17's Over Germany ("Aviation Week" Books) (Paperback)
A good read starting from when they join up right through to the end of their missions. I enjoyed it very much.
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