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Making for Sweden, Part 2: The United States Army Air Force- The Story of the Allied Airmen Who Took Sanctuary in Neutral Sweden Hardcover – 1998
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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During World War II, Sweden declared their country to be strictly neutral. As such, Sweden cooperated with both the German and the Allies. Sweden’s neighboring countries, Denmark and Norway, were both occupied by the Nazi’s so I am sure that Sweden was doing everything in its power not to be.
As the Allies starting flying deeper and deeper into Germany, injured heavy bombers and fighter planes often found that they could fly safely into neutral Sweden when they did not have the ability to return to their English bases.
The first US aircraft, “Georgia Rebel” landed there in July of 1943. Another 199 would follow before the end of World War II.
In all, the authors report that 1429 US crew members are registered to have either landed in Sweden … or escaped to Sweden after landing in Norway or Denmark. Even ten years ago, they lamented that the numbers of these airmen are dramatically dwindling.
That’s why this book is so important to this portion of World War II history when our young crews and their crippled aircraft were able to find a safe haven in the country of Sweden.
This happened to me near Berlin on May 29, 1944, when fierce attacks by German fighter planes knocked out two of my B-17 bomber's engines, wrecked the right wing, and caused fuel to pour from a ruptured tank. The bomber could never reach England, so the plane staggered across Germany and the Baltic to skid on its belly across the grass of the Bulltofta airfield outside of Malmo, Sweden. The Swedes were wonderfully kind, and I lived a quiet, civilian life in a lovely valley at Loka Brunn until released from internment.
At least 162 American planes landed or crashed in Sweden. In a research effort that must have taken years, Bo Widfeldt and Rolph Wegmann have carefully documented the story of each plane and its crew members. Amazingly, they have photos of many of the wounded planes, and some of the crews, as they came to rest on Swedish soil. This is the definitive book about this aspect of World War Two. Every flyer is listed and a special tribute is made to those flyers who died trying to "make it to Sweden."
every plane that had to land in SE because of multiple problems associated with the flying abilities of the effected aircraft. He also deals with how the country tested the captive crewmen. I learned a great deal from this book & recommend it to this interested in the topic.