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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.Read more ›
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
Have read many WWII books. This one made me feel I was in the plane. Flew in a CAF B17 once. You veterans were very brave.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS STORY .
Very interesting, to hear a totally personal view from a young 20 year old co-pilot, and then pilot. Read morePublished 17 days ago by John F. Delong
In my opinion this book captures the chaos and terror of flying a bomber over Europe during WW II. Even against such horror these young men did their job even when seized by fear... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Rebeldog109
A tribute to all these bomber pilots who sacrificed their lives during WWll.Those were real warriors flying and fighting against all odds. Read morePublished 1 month ago
There is something almost unglamorous about the way this book is written, honest warts and all but in that it feels like you get a real sense of how it must feel to have been... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Steve Gould
Honest to goodness, the dog ate it. She thought it was worth quite a lot of chewing and digesting and scattering all over the living room floor while we were out. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Unusually introspective , but not lacking in action. Makes you feel like you were really "there"with the author. Read morePublished 3 months ago by egstetson