I Flew with Hell's Angels, Thirty-Six Combat Missions in a B-17 "Flying Fortress" 1944-1945


The air battle over Europe cost over 90,000 American casualties. A bomber crew's chances of surviving twenty-five missions-the original requirement-was only one in four. When the requirement was raised to thirty, and then thirty-five missions, the men's morale took a nosedive, but only temporarily. They just put on their leather flight jackets and climbed back into their B-17s, the "Flying Fortresses." Hell's Angels, as they were known, were the men of the 303rd Bombardment Group of the Eighth Air Force. Based in Molesworth, England, the 303rd drew young flyboys into its ranks with the allure of fame and excitement, and the chance to belong to the same bomber group as movie star Clark Gable. But it wasn't all glamour and glory. In between missions, the flyboys fought boredom, homesickness, bitter cold, the loss of their fellow airmen and the knowledge that every mission could be their last. Bill Albertson has reconstructed his father's experiences as a B-17 navigator with reports and photographs from the National Archives and from his father's wartime letters and memoirs. Bill's research, paired with the personal accounts of his dad's combat missions, is a tribute to the bravery of the men of the 303rd. Fly with Hell's Angels as they attack Dresden, Merseburg, Bremen, Berlin and other targets. Experience their fear, heroics and heart-pounding moments during the deadliest air campaign the world has ever witnessed.

William Albertson 

(2005), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 192 pp.

ISBN: 9780788435065