The View From the Bottom Up: Growing Up Fast in World War II
by Robert Gilbert, S/Sgt., U.S. Eighth Air Force
Merriam Press World War II Memoir
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Paperback - ISBN 978-1468049879 - $12.95
Hardcover not available
Bob Gilbert was a ball turret gunner in a B-17 with the 533rd Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force, Ridgewell, England.
Out of the harshness of the Great Depression were produced the people who would fight World War Two in the factories and on the battlefields. Though very human in their failings, they were a generation or so of people who were not particularly self-absorbed or frivolous. As history has shown, they were able to face with fierce dedication the terrible forces of the Axis Powers and beat them. This story observes one of these young persons as he grows rapidly to adulthood, along with his peers, experiencing love, fear and having deep feelings of dedication to protect his country…and is told at times with some humor.
This memoir is the story of a young aerial machine gunner, on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, who had to grow up fast. He participated as a teenage enlisted man in the World War II Big League of air war…the ETO. In his turret hanging under that storied bomber, he was positioned to defend his bomber from the Luftwaffe’s deadly fighter aircraft. This compelling story presents his perspective of the committed life he and his peers brought to manned bomber warfare, which is The View From The Bottom Up… literally and figuratively.
Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: The Boy Awakens
Chapter 2: From Long Beach to Tampa
Chapter 3: E Pluribus Unum
Chapter 4: Bon Voyage
Chapter 5: And So It Begins
Chapter 6: Return to Schweinfurt
Chapter 7: London
Chapter 8: Of Shots and Chaff
Chapter 9: The City Girl
Chapter 10: Hamburg to Buzz Bombs
Chapter 11: The Dog Fight
Chapter 12: The Battle of the Bulge
Chapter 13: At The Palace Hotel
Chapter 14: Big B and Valentine’s Day
Chapter 15: The Combat Tour Closes
Chapter 16: Goodbye
Chapter 17: VE Day in the Dark
Chapter 18: The Final Challenge
Addenda 1: Combat Missions
Addenda 2: Medals Awarded to S/Sgt. Robert Gilbert
Addenda 3: Fortieth Year Reunion, Seattle
232 6x9-inch pages, 27 photos, illustrations and documents
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