- Hardcover: 510 pages
- Publisher: Univ of Washington Press; BCE edition (January 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0295972327
- ISBN-13: 978-0295972329
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lucky Bastard Club: A B-17 Pilot in Training and in Combat, 1943-45/Mister Fletcher's Gang/2 Books in 1 Volume Hardcover – January 1, 1993
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My dad like the author went to flight school in 1943 & early 1944. This book is actually a combination of two books. the first is about flight school. And just again like my Dad he went to England in 1944 through the end of the war which the second book is about.
My dad died in 1960 when I was only 3 so I really didn't know him. My older sister just came for a visit and I bought the book for her, she was 16 when he died and her hero. She has really loved the book so far & I will read it when she finishes it. Great look at the actual life of one man going from recruit though the end of the war.
First part, named 'Mister'- The training of a bomber pilot. The Civilian Pilot Training Program turned out 435,000 graduates. Like so many others, Fletcher needed to satisfy advanced tests, flying faster planes, until qualified to fly B-17s carrying nine other crewmembers. He alternates the diary entry- letters home, and recording destinations, other men's names, and special events.
Second Part, named 'Fletcher's Gang'- meeting the men to crew other positions on his B-17, the movement of his crew overseas, assignment to the 95th Bomb Group, and combat missions. These include the shuttle mission to Poltava, Russia. There are great verbal descriptions of the nissen huts, the information provided to crews at pre-flight briefings and the malfunctions that would cause a pilot to 'abort the mission'. The navigator and bombardier also contribute their observations on missions. Fletcher flies whatever plane they are assigned; some are pretty worn, exhibiting various faults.
Good pictures of B-17 crashes, formations, some taken at Poltava. Appendix includes missions of Fletcher's Gang/target/planes flown.
See also: B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Eighth Air Force (Part 2),Flying Fortress.