Yanks over Europe – American Flyers in World War II

Posted By: Plesiosaurus

Jerome Klinkowitz, "Yanks over Europe – American Flyers in World War II", The University of Kentucky Press | 1996 Year | ISBN: 0-8131-1961-8 | PDF | 380 Kb | 147 Pages

Memoirs by participants in armed conflicts are not new. The fiftieth anniversary of World War II was marked by a spate of books about all aspects of that conflict. Among these many books were memoirs by individuals famous and not-so-famous, all of whom shared the experience of the war in one way or another and many of whom waited over four decades to make public their recollections (over 40 percent of the books listed in the bibliography in Yanks Over Europe were published in 1985 or later). Jerome Klinkowitz has hit upon the idea of mining these memoirs, both old and new, to present an anecdote-laden overview of air operations in Europe during World War II from the perspective of the aircrews. Although the author notes in his acknowledgements that he spoke with veterans, this book is essentially "a study of the written record ... of American flyers of the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces" (p. ix).

With this interesting approach he has given the reader impressions of the air war over Europe, providing glimpses of what it was like to serve in fighters or bombers, flying from Cambridgeshire and Kent or from the Foggia Plain. He quotes, sometimes extensively, from these memoirs, using anecdotes to portray both the boredom and the terror of war. The picture he paints is one largely of ordinary individuals who are somehow caught up in a scenario which they may dislike, but which they pursue with serious purpose.