The 44th Bomb Group Cover Recommended Books

The following is a list of World War 2 aviation books that I own and recommend to others.

Under the Wire - William Ash with Brendan Foley
I was asked to read this book by it's coauthor. It isn't B-24 specific but it is a very interesting WW-2 story of an American RAF pilot and POW who was likely the inspiration for Steve McQueen's character in the movie "The Great Escape." I found it very interesting to read of how men like Mr. Ash acted upon their convictions prior to the United States entering the war and how their own country punished them for doing the right thing. Though I didn't always agree with some of the political commentary I was still captivated by the story. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Americans serving in other militaries, POW hardships, or escapees and evadees.

Kriegsgefangenen #6410 - John L. Lenburg
The story of John L. Lenburg and his memories of the "Black March of Stalag Luft IV." This is a self-published autobiography of John's time as a POW and I am honored to have a personalized autographed copy of it. If you can find a copy of it I highly recommend it, especially for those of my generation who grew up with only Hogan's Heroes as an example of POW life.

The Wooden Horse - Eric Williams
I read this book when I was in grade school and was dumbfounded when I discovered that the story of the daring escape made using a tunnel dug under a vaulting horse at Stalag Luft III was actually true. Truly remarkable.

Tales of a Tail Gunner - Eddie S. Picardo
The story of Eddie Picardo, a tail gunner on a B-24 in the 44th Bomb Group, the Flying Eight-Balls. Eddie was at Shipdham the same time as my grandfather. I got my copy of this book from Norm Nutt, another Eight-Baller, who piloted home the Glory Bee at the end of the war. This book is out of print.

The 44th Bomb Group in World War II - Ron Mackay & Steve Adams
A very detailed history of the 44th Bomb Group and the people and aircraft that up this very underappreciated part of the 8th Army Air Force. I have met Steve Adams and he is an outstanding person who has devoted a significant amount of time and effort maintaining the museum at Shipdham so that Yanks like Grandpa are never forgotten.

44th Bomb Group: The Flying Eightballs - 44th Bomb Group Veterans Association
A collection of photographs and personal recollections of members of the 44th Bomb Group assembled and published by the 44th BGVA through Turner Publishing. This book is out of print and I feel very grateful to my grandmother for having the foresight to obtain copies for all of the grandchildren.

Looking Back: A Tail Gunner's View of WWII - Dale Van Blair
The memories of Dale Van Blair, a B-24 tail gunner in the 8th AAF from 1942 to 1945. Especially riveting in the description of his last mission in which he and his crew ditched in the North Sea.

Dominator: The Story of the Consolidated B-32 Bomber - Stephen Harding & James I. Long
The story of the development, deployment, and rapid decommissioning of the aircraft that killed my great uncle as well as many crews that had the misfortune of being assigned to this dangerous and mostly forgotten aircraft. This book is out of print.