1998 1st edition; SIGNED BY JOHN L. STEWART on title page to previous owners; McGraw-Hill publishers, New York; hardbound; very good condition; dust jacket very good.
Against regulations, he kept a journal recounting the truth beyond memory's reach. As a World War II combat navigator, John Stewart was the "tour guide" for a B-24 Liberator, launching from England to strike tactical and strategic targets in Occupied Europe and Germany. While surviving 31 missions flown with the 467th omber Group, Stewart broke two rules: he kept an accurate private diary documenting the specifics of those missions; and he retained several of the maps and charts issued only to navigators just prior to takeoff.
With their assistance, he offers an engrossing, pointedly candid description of grueling aerial combat and of one man's uncensored observations as he shepherded his crewmates through nerve-crushing enemy flak to their targets--then safely home.
Stewart vividly depicts the hazards he routinely confronted each time the live action departed from the manual's page...which was nearly every mission. Witness what occurs when precision guidance instruments fail and a navigator's aptly named "dead reckoning" is called upon to salvage a flight. And feel what it's like to learn your 37-mile-long bomb run requires you to plot a course directly into the teeth of a 130-knot headwind...leaving you to linger over enemy flak guns at a leisurely relative ground speed of just 80 knots!
The navigator's voice is one seldom heard in memoirs regaridng the World War II missions of the celebrated 8th Air Force. Stewart's unvarnished recollections fill an enormous void with his painstakingly faithful reconstruction of that experience, and of that era.