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The Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond Hardcover – 15 Jul 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc. (15 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597977128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597977128
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,121,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ian Hawkins first became interested in the history of the Eighth Air Force as a young boy growing up in England surrounded by the airfields from which the aircrews flew. He is the author of B-17s Over Berlin: Personal Stories from the 95th Bomb Group (Potomac Books, 2004). He lives in Bacton, Suffolk, England. Rob Morris is a high school history and English teacher with a lifelong interest in the World War II air war. He is the author of Untold Valor: Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crews over Europe in World War II (Potomac Books, 2006). He lives near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought as a present for my husband, it was recommended and he loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
Superb great pictures
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x93792bf4) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93997654) out of 5 stars 95th Bomb Group - First B-17s over Berlin 9 Sept. 2012
By hiking teacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My dad was active in this bomb group during WWII. As president of its reunion group for several years, it was his most fervent dream during his tenure to see a unit history written. I am happy to say that Rob Morris has done so in a style that is approachable and readable, yet true to the nature of the unit and the sacrifices they made. Thank you, Rob, for a most enjoyable and and thought provoking book. It helps those of us who weren't there begin to understand their daily tribulations. Many of the vets you mentioned in your book are no longer with us, and the remaining ones and their children, the 95th Bomb Group Memorial Foundation, have to be thankful for what you have achieved. I know I am.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x939978a0) out of 5 stars Rob Morris delivers! 22 Sept. 2012
By Ed Grossheim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the son of a veteran B-17 pilot who served with the 95th Bomb Group, 334th Bomb Squadron, I was thrilled when I heard that this book, "The Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond" was being written. As a WWII aviation history buff, I also had some doubts, after having read numerous "unit histories" which turned out to be cold statistical collections (as opposed to a real "story). Nonetheless, I waited with great anticipation through the ten months, from the date I preordered the book until the day it arrived.

As I sat down and began to read, I quickly realized that my doubts were unfounded. Rob has done a masterful job in telling the story of the 95th. He once mentioned that he hoped that he "got it right". I'm pleased to say that he most-certainly got it right! Using information he got from the actual veterans of the group, and his own exhaustive research, he tells the 95th's story in human terms, rarely seen in other similar works.

On behalf of my dad, who passed away in 1992, Rob, Thank you! Mission accomplished!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93997864) out of 5 stars History of a Mighty Eighth Bomb Group! 18 Sept. 2012
By Mike O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Assigned to the 8th Force in April 1943, the 95th Bomb Group, based at Horham, compiled a distinguished combat record. The ONLY 8th AF BG to win three DUCs, the 95th laid claim to being the first USAAF group to bomb Berlin. By war's end, the Group had flown over 320 missions, losing 157 B-17s in combat with another 39 operational losses. Rob Morris and Ian Hawkins offer up an evocative history of this top-flying Group in THE WILD BLUE YONDER AND BEYOND, a 2012 Potomac Books release.

Rob Morris' book is not your typical mission-by-mission recounting of a bomber group at war. Morris interweaves the combat material with chapters on 'The British,' 'Replacement Crews,' 'Wives and Mothers,' 'Entertainment and London,' 'Escape and Evasion' and so on.

THE WILD BLUE YONDER AND BEYOND is successful in recreating the feel, the reality of the Group's wartime experiences. Morris includes many first-person reminiscences that put a human face on the Mighty Eighth's war.

In the acknowledgements section, Morris states his original manuscript topped out at 230,000 words and that he had to cut out 100,000 of them. While I understand the economics of publishing, I think that loss hurt the book. Very abbreviated summaries of various missions are given but, more crucially, losses are often only briefly itemized. Perhaps I'm being too critical but, considering the ultimare sacrifice those young men made, I thought those events should have been fully described.

In any case, readers will find THE WILD BLUE AND BEYOND a compelling, often poignant account of American airmen at war. Recommended.

5,000 Helpful Votes!
Many Thanks to All Those 'Helpful Voters' Over the Years!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93997e40) out of 5 stars Review of the Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond 25 Oct. 2012
By RussMcKnight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond tells the story of the 95th Bomb Group (H), the first B-17s in World War II to reach Berlin with precision daylight bombing. Getting this story right is an ambitious undertaking which weaves hundreds of first hand accounts into a well- organized and readable book about the greatest epic war in human history and the role this Army Air Corp Group played in defeating the Third Reich

The bibliography is the marker why this book is distinguished. The men and women who actually lived this incredible story gave hundreds of oral histories, not only as elderly soldiers speaking independently, but often in reunion settings giving well-documented first hand memories of the successes and failures of this group, which was awarded three Presidential Unit Citations for valor. These testimonies were transcribed and reside in the Library of Congress. The original mission reports are retained in the National Archives. Three other anthologies precede historians Rob Morris and Ian Hawkins' book.

What lifts this story above the bare undisputed facts is a glimpse of what it was like to be a crewman, aircraft maintenance chief, operations officer, trainer, family member, or British neighbor to the Group's airfield in East Anglia. The author meets this challenge by featuring about 30 critical elements that were the subtle War outcome game changers so difficult to comprehend and describe. The chemistry of the group creation, the horrendous setbacks, the camp life when not flying a mission, the wives and mothers, the POW's, the stunning impact of technology and scientific discoveries, the humanitarian missions feeding the starving Dutch citizens, and just how this legacy was thankfully preserved.

It was good fortune that the records were laboriously made, retained, and transcribed, and remains available on the 95th website ([...]). It was good fortune that veterans of the 95th initiated reunions and opened up with their corroborated stories and memories. It was good fortune that the 95th BG Memorials Foundation contracted with Rob Morris to tell the 95th story. The Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond is more than an accumulation of historical data. Rob Morris has brought this epic story to life in human terms and he got the story right.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93797078) out of 5 stars Important, carefully researched, and heartfelt 22 Sept. 2012
By D. Summerfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the veterans who fought in World War II die off more and more each day, it is extremely important that their stories never been forgotten. Author Rob Morris has given his readers a first-rate accounting of the men of the 95th Bomber Group who fought and died to defeat fascism. With meticulous research, the author has gone right to the sources (the veterans themselves) and captured the details of their heroic missions and their everyday lives during the last "good" war. But the author has gone beyond that, and relates to his reader what happened to these men after the shooting was over and they returned to civilian life. Each was changed by his experience in the war, and the reader cannot help but be changed by learning about the struggle and sacrifice not only of these extraordinary men, but of their wives and families.

This book is well-written, lively and entertaining. But it is much more than that. It is a book which preserves the history of these fighting Americans so that generations to come can understand what they endured to win the freedoms which we hold so dear.

Highly recommended.
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