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Hell Above Earth: The Startling True Story of Werner Goering s flights against the Luftwaffe...and the man primed to kill him Hardcover – 10 May 2012
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"The riveting true story of a World War II bomber pilot and the co-pilot who received orders to kill him. At the beginning of the war, U.S. pilot Werner Goering was "an exceptional pilot" whose "nerves of steel, combined with his unwavering ability to make split-second decisions, saw his crew safely home, mission after grueling mission." However, writes "Sarasota Herald-Tribune" staffer Frater, he was also the nephew of Hitler's right-hand man and head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering. As a national-security precaution, FBI officials ordered his experienced co-pilot, Jack Rencher, to kill him if their B-17 was going down over Nazi territory. In addition to examining the friendship that developed between the two, the author packs the narrative with rapid-fire history and statistics about the 303rd Bomb Group, the growth of the U.S. Air Force and the overall tenor of the war. Frater captures the strength, fear and bravery of Goering and Rencher's crew, but never fully explains the details of the men's lives. The narrative is more a factual recounting of Goering's career, which began as an untrusted pilot and continued for more than 20 years as a risk-taking spy during the Cold War, ending at a desk in the Pentagon. After the twists and turns in Goering's many missions, Frater finishes with a stunning revelation. Despite occasional repetition, the author delivers an exciting read full of little-known facts about the war. A WWII thrill ride." " Kirkus Reviews"
"Stephen Frater has uncovered one of the greatest and most ironic surprises of World War II. A riveting book, every bit as exciting and unusual as Operation Mincemeat, and demonstrating that there are still things we don't know about World War II --." " Michael Korda, New York Times bestselling author of "With Wings Like Eagles
About the Author
Stephen Frater, a former staff writer for the Herald- Tribune Media Group, a New York Times company, is a graduate of Brown University and lives in Rhode Island and Florida.