Brooklyn-born Sam Halpert flew thirty-five missions over Nazi Germany as a B-17 navigator. From that experience comes this fiercely authentic, autobiographical novel – a remarkable fiction debut at the age of 77.
This is the story of the making of a B-17 crew, from basic training in the US through to the real thing, taking off before dawn and flying through enemy flak and fighters in broad daylight to their targets – Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin. Bravado, humour, camaraderie, raw and vivid language protect the rookie airmen from the danger and death all around them. As the crew carry out their brutal duty, coping with ever-mounting casualties, the young navigator who tells the tale is forced to learn the real meaning of war.