Soon after the United States entered World War II, American ground and air forces were on their way to the European theater of operations. Among that offensive buildup was the 15th Air Force, consisting of four-engine heavy bombers-the B-17 and B-24-as well as twin-engine medium bombers and several types of fighter aircraft. The 15th was first stationed in North Africa and then in southern Italy, where pilots could strike at any military target within a 700 mile radius. After ferrying a B-17 to England with the 8th Air Force, Lt. Edward Logan was transferred to the 15th Air Force, Fifth Wing, 483rd Bomb Group, 817th Bomb Squadron in Italy. Logan and members of his unit were assigned to use American air power to destroy the German military’s manufacturing and petroleum complexes as well as its intricate transportation system. This gripping memoir gives a detailed account of Logan’s experiences throughout his Army Air Corps career. It outlines the progression of a determined would-be pilot through two years of training, his 1944 journey to the war’s theater and advent into actual combat. While other missions are summarized, the work’s main focus is the author’s thirty-fourth combat mission, which took place in March 1945. During this operation, his B-17 bomber sustained damage so severe that he and nine crewmen were forced to bail out over enemy territory. Aided by Slovenian partisans, Logan and his crew evaded the German troops who were searching for them and returned safely to their base. This firsthand account includes insider details, technical specifications of the B-17 bomber and previously classified information. An epilogue provides additional information on the partisans and the composition of the 15th Air Force.
"e;Jump, Damn It, Jump!"e; Memoir of a Downed B-17 Pilot in World War II