The forbidden diary: a B-24 navigator remembers
From the author's blow-by-blow diary kept during his tour of duty with the Eight Air Force, thirty-one bombing missions over Europe during WWII are described. Discussions of the art and skill of combat navigation and tales of R&R between missions round out the read. Striking photographs as well as other illustrations (maps & diagrams) add vivid depth to the narrative. Rain or heavy flak, bombed targets and sights of destruction, Air Base scenes, maps and insignia, and pub gatherings are depicted. Songs and poems of the era are also included. In an interesting appendix, portions of an Army Air Force manual, "Navigator's Information File, " are featured. Equipment, procedures and methods utilized are detailed-some of which retain importance today, and some of which ultimately served as prototypes for the technology evolved since.
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The forbidden diary: a B-24 navigator remembersUser Review - Book Verdict
As a 19-year-old navigator with the Eighth Air Force, Stewart logged combat time in a B-24 Liberator named the Gremlin Manor. He navigated on 31 missions that dumped 8000 pounds of explosives on enemy targets over Europe. Keeping a journal was strictly against regulations, but Stewart secretly wrote about his exploits and those of his crew. His recollections describe in vivid detail everything about the harrowing life of the combat navigator, beginning with the training, and in an appendix he tells how he guided the Gremlin Manor over preplanned routes. He also introduces the reader to the all-important dead-reckoning procedures along with the instruments and devices. What makes Stewart's book unique amidst a flood of World War II memoirs is his detailed descriptions of how he navigated and the equipment he used, which gives his book a you-were-there feel. After seeing Memphis Belle a dozen times, here is the real thing. Recommended for World War II and aviation collections.--Michael Coleman, Regional Lib. for Blind & Handicapped, Montgomery, AL