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The Wrong Stuff : The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator Paperback – December, 2001
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If you thought gallantry and valor were the only stuff war is made of, think again. Truman Smiths The Wrong Stuff will let you know right away that the Hollywood version of war is just that: the stuff of good movies. He makes one statement which is not understood by anyone who has not served in combat: 'In order to out-bad the bad guys, you ve got to be badder than they are.' --Tulsa World
Writing bluntly and sometime profanely, Smith, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, talks honestly about his experiences, ventures that happened also to thousands of other Air Force veterans...If nothing else, the book proves that the nation s greatest resources are its young people, ready and willing to serve their country. --St. Joseph (MO.) News-Press
About the Author
Truman J. Smith (1924–2011) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society. In 1958 he founded the Air Force Radio-TV network, which reached Europe, North Africa, and the Near East.
Top Customer Reviews
An Air Force friend sent me a copy of the WRONG STUFF. From the opening page, this book took me back to those war years, and kept me totally absorbed. It hit me like "a ton of bricks" when I discovered that Truman, and I, flew with the same 8th Air Force Group in England.
Upon reading Truman's Chapter 5, aptly titled "THE WORST," I discovered for the first time how I lost my plane and crew, while participating on a bombing mission to Berlin, Germany, on April 29, 1944. His vivid description of that raid kept me mesmerized, and it would take a great deal of writing for me to express the large number of superlatives this book deserves.
Chapter 5 is a book within a book. Only 6 ships of 30 in our group returned to home base, while the entire 8th AF lost 63 bombers on that raid alone. I thank God that my friend placed THE WRONG STUFF in my hands, for it enabled me to learn the details of the largest air battle in history. I was unable, for the most part, to view the battle, since I was fully engaged in formation flight. Truman was flying copilot in the highest of our 30 ship formation, and had an unobstructed view of all enemy aircraft, and the raging air battles. It is difficult to imagine such a frightening experience for Truman, a 20 year old copilot, as he peered out the right window of his aircraft, and spotted some 200 enemy aircraft, like a hive of bees, ready to swarm on our hapless group of 30 bombers, which had been carelessly led from the bomber stream. Somehow True survived, complete his tour of 35 missions, and luckily for us, remembered, in detail, the ingredients of this great book.
Truman describes aerial combat with excellence. His accounts of the fears and horrors in WW II aerial combat, is laced with a priceless sense of humor. He keeps the reader on the flight deck with him during each of his 35 missions, and one can almost
feel the thrills - and horror - of the air battles.
He provides us with some of his pleasure jaunts to London, elsewhere in England, and on the Continent as well. His description of those experiences offers a change of pace that is relaxing, enjoyable, and sprinkled with humor.
I found it difficult to lay the book aside, as did my wife, and other members of my family.
THE WRONG STUFF has understandably been selected as required reading this fall in The U.S. Air Force Academy History Class.
This is a great book - the author is not a great wordsmith but you can feel his fear (and the fun) in every page even in his simple prose.
The reality of the days comes through in every mission - random death was ever present on every mission - yet they went out without demanding anything other than the gratitude of their country.
The author is not sufficiently honoured by the title, but he is well honoured by his deeds and his breezy recall of their context.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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