- File Size: 42934 KB
- Print Length: 476 pages
- Publication Date: June 7, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00Z7CKFWE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,029 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$24.95|
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A Fortress and A Legacy: The Gift of a WWII Bombardier's True Story to the Daughter He Never Knew Kindle Edition
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|Length: 476 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Although one can surmise even from the book’s sub-title that this story will not have a happy ending, for a time the reader imagines that “Bud” Perrin will fly his 35 missions as a bombardier or navigator and make it home to see a newborn baby girl. That is the power of Greene’s story-telling. One feels Thelma’s guarded optimism for her husband’s possible survival as she receives the “Missing in Action” news, and hopes beyond hope that soon the mother-to-be will hear of her young husband’s safe return. That’s not how it turns out. Nevertheless, the narrative is of a life given in a patriotic and courageous fashion. It is a life cut short at the very apex of what would have been a bright and happy future. In this vivid snapshot of one couple the reader sees up close and personal the sacrifices required of a war that from 1941-1945 took in direct combat 291,557 American lives
Beneath the story’s overlay of sweet correspondence is Greene’s meticulous scholarship, especially as it relates to Perrin’s 8th Air Force 381st Bomb Group. No detail is spared; it is a tutorial in the training of a B-17 navigator/bombardier. One experiences the anxiety of a young airman studying for demanding written exams; the pressure of firing artillery rounds quickly enough to pass a training requirement; the adrenalin rush of crews synchronizing watches on the runway during the countdown for a first bombing mission over enemy territory, the mixed feelings of Perrin as a run is canceled minutes before take-off due to the calculus of weather; the exactitude of instruction for strategic raids over Germany; the statistics of wins and losses; the boredom of no-fly days; the challenge of warming a barracks in the cold dampness of an English winter. All of this is conveyed with impressive and compelling specificity.
Greene’s determination to follow through and discover exactly how it was that his Uncle Bud lost his life, including finding the German village where the B-17 was downed, is fascinating and well told. One feels the peaceful sense of closure that this nephew of a fallen airman must have experienced after having seen the story through to the end. The author clearly provided Perrin’s daughter, Rosiland, the priceless gift of these letters, fully described and placed in an accurate historical framework. But, in addition, as she read, she must have also understood the healing implicit in her uncle’s interactions with local German citizens at the place where her father’s plane went down. Perhaps that ending demonstrated to her, as well as to the general reader, that time can in fact heal deep wounds.
Given that many thousands of books have been written about World War II, it may seem there’s little left to say on this subject. But this captivating story of love in a time of war provides a unique perspective that will appeal to readers on many different levels.
The book provides technical details about World War II era equipment and aircraft that I found to be both interesting and enlightening. And it offers engaging descriptions of military life running the gamut from day-to-day boredom to gut-wrenching fear during battles. But that is not where the book finds its soul.
By detailing the experiences of one young man during these turbulent years, the book actually tells the story of all men as they were thrust from their everyday lives into a world of military training and, subsequently, the war itself. Through his depiction of Ross "Bud" Perrin’s life, the author has taken this very large event and brought it down to an understandable human level, highlighting the impact of the war not only on one airman, but also on the families and communities left behind. It makes it clear that “service” is not limited to those in uniform.
Although “A Fortress and a Legacy” takes place during a monumental war, ultimately, it is a story about love…love of country, love of God, love of an adored and adoring life partner, love for a yet to be born child, and, now, love of a man for a treasured uncle who died long ago…but who will never disappear because he is remembered in the hearts of loved ones and in this extraordinary book. And by the time I finished reading it, I loved him, too.
Most recent customer reviews
The book dealt with me personally because I had an uncle who also was a bombardier on a plane during World War II.Read more
Well, I have finished 'A Fortress and a Legacy" and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it.Read more