Operation Thunderclap and the Black March: Two World War II Stories from the Unstoppable 91st Bomb Group

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Operation Thunderclap and the Black March: Two World War II Stories from the Unstoppable 91st Bomb Group

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Length: 361 pages5 hours

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This unique dual biography chronicles the WWII experiences of two US airmen, one of whom was captured by Nazis, while the other bombed Germany.
 
In February 1945, the Allies launched Operation Thunderclap, a series of maximum efforts against cities in eastern Germany. These deep-penetration raids would tax the bomber crews immensely, as well as bring new devastation to cities yet untouched by US airpower. Meanwhile, the Nazis attempted to move all their prisoners beyond the reach of the Soviet Army’s advancing spearheads, forcing thousands of Allied POWs on a five-hundred-mile, three-month trek that would come to be known as the Black March.
 
Two B-17 crew members, a copilot and gunner, trained together in Gulfport, MS, and, in Fall 1944, were assigned to the longest-serving and most decorated US bomb group in England. However, their paths then diverged. The copilot flew thirty-one missions until the war’s end; the gunner was shot down and captured on his very first combat mission. These crew members both lived—one through Thunderclap and one through the Black March—and this is their story: an account of both constant air combat and travail on the ground.
 
The copilot participated in the bombing of Dresden, where he witnessed a city already too far destroyed to expend additional bombs. The gunner survived the March, and once time was up for Germany, experienced a period in Soviet captivity. This unique book on the Allied air campaign offers new insights into what our fliers truly saw and experienced during the war.
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