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Book by LaHurd Christopher M
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Merriam Press Military Monograph 92. Second Edition (March 2012). On his twenty-sixth horrifying mission over the hostile skies of Nazi Europe a charismatic bombardier, seated at the nose of a B-17, strapped on his parachute as his disintegrating bomber dropped uncontrollably to the ground. What got him to this point, the ensuing months behind barbed wire, and his daily letters written to his family in Akron, Ohio provide the engrossing content of A Story of One. This is an emotionally intense memoir of a bombardier's experiences during World War II with the 817th Bomb Squadron, 483rd Bomb Group, Fifteenth Air Force. This book recreates a straightforward story of a cadet growing into a matured and experienced lieutenant that can be extrapolated to illustrate the immense impact of World War II on individual lives. Unlike the scores of historical studies of leaders, military decisions and battles and equally plentiful novels of the period, A Story of One offers a kind of "people's history." It is the true account of a single, unknown individual who stands in for the unsung warriors of the greatest generation by offering readers an insight into the details of one life. Although rich with military history, A Story of One is not entirely focused on the war. It recounts frugality and emotions on the home front, training, friendships, love affairs, family, confinement as a prisoner of war and much more. Between March 1942 and August 1945 a cadet becomes an aerial warrior, observes his comrades fall victim to the machinery of war, learns that his brother has also been captured, and attempts to ease his family's fears through frequent letters home. Besides thousands of wartime personal correspondence, A Story of One draws on extensive interviews with veterans of the 483rd Bombardment Group, conversation with military wives who lived through the war on the home front, and poignant conversations with the bombardier himself. Contents: Foreword; Introduction; Chapter 1: Memmingen Raid; Chapter 2: Bouncing Betty; Chapter 3: Airborne; Chapter 4: Square One; Chapter 5: Eye on Norden; Chapter 6: Brothers in Arms; Chapter 7: Roses and Rivets; Chapter 8: Groom Deploys; Chapter 9: Over the Deep Blue Pond; Chapter 10: Last Repose; Chapter 11: Nazi Interview; Chapter 12: The Dash; Chapter 13: Stalag Luft I; Chapter 14: Lost Boys; Chapter 15: Monotony; Chapter 16: Lucky; Chapter 17: Bombardier’s Promise; Chapter 18: Victory Garden; Chapter 19: One Life; Bibliography; 25 photos. Review by James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys, The Imperial Cruise: After Daniel LaHurd passed away, Christopher LaHurd found his grandfather's memory box. A Story of One is Chris's loving recreation of Daniel's experiences as a World War II airman and POW. A great read.
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