The Wild Blue:

The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45

A #1 New York Times Bestseller

One of the 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship.

Stephen Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys—turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B24s—who suffered over 50 percent casualties.

Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B24s as their crews fought to the death through thick, black, deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine or else went down in flames. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes—many of whom did not come back.

As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldier from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue makes clear the contribution these young men of the Army Air Forces stationed in Italy made to the Allied victory.

Author Biography

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936–2002) was the author of Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. He also founded the Eisenhower Center and was president of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. His book, Band of Brothers, was the basis for the HBO miniseries.

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Reader Biography

Jeffrey DeMunn is an American film, television, and stage actor. He graduated from Union College in 1969 and then spent two years at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in England. He is best known for his roles in several Frank Darabont films, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic. His is also featured in numerous television roles, most recently in the adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book series. In addition to his film and television performances, DeMunn has lent his voice to several audio books, including The Colorado Kid, Dreamcatcher, and Letters for Emily

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