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Pappy's War

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Pappy's War

A B-17 Gunner's World War II Memoir
  • by John "Pappy" Paris
    • Merriam Press World War 2 Memoir Series
      • Fifth Edition 2012
      • 162 6x9-inch pages
      • 42 photos and illustrations
      • 2 appendices
This story is about the author's experiences while serving as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. It is a condensed narrative of his training in the States, and his experiences in the Eighth Air Force in wartime England in early 1944.
While with the Eighth he participated in some of the greatest air battles ever fought. These included bombing raids over Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig along with other lesser-known targets.
His B-17 sustained grievous damage while on a "milk run" over France, and later was shot down while raiding the great industrial city of Leipzig located deep in the eastern part of Germany.
Then his narration recounts the trials and tribulations of his bailout, capture, interrogation, and confinement in Stalag-Luft IV. This prisoner of war camp was located in the province of Pomerania, in north central Germany, that is now part of Poland.
He was known as "Kriegsgefagen der Luftwaffe" #3057. Incarcerated there for a period of six months, he relates the story of his life as a prisoner of the Germans.
Late in the war, as the Russians were driving into Poland, and threatening to encircle their place of confinement, they were marched west in the dead of winter with little food or shelter, for a total of seventy days. It was the worst winter in northern Europe since such records were kept, as attested by the severe weather encountered by our troops during the Battle of the Bulge.
While on this march, along with three others, he escaped. After three weeks, and many adventures later, they broke into the British battle lines near Hanover.
Relive John's odyssey as a member of a B-17 crew of the 600th Bomb Squadron, 398th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force.
The appendices include a brief history of the Group and an account of the EAA Aviation Foundation's B-17G restored as an aircraft of the 398th.
  • Dedication 
  • Acknowledgments 
  • Preface
  • “Big Ass Bird”
  • England
  • Hamburg
  • First Blood
  • Big “B”
  • Milk Run
  • London Town
  • Red Lion Inn
  • Toulouse
  • Mayday (M’daidez)
  • Bailout
  • Frankfurt
  • Kriegie
  • Black March
  • Escape
  • Back Up, Joe
  • Appendix 1: 398th Bombardment Group (H)
  • Appendix 2: Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress” Flies Again in the Markings of the 398th Bomb Group

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