Recently I’ve been doing more reading, so I wanted to talk to you about the book I just finished. The book is The Wild Blue; The Men and Boys Who Flew The B-24’s Over Germany 1944-45 by Stephen E. Ambrose.
The main focus is on George McGovern and his crew on the B-24 Dakota Queen. In reality, the Dakota Queen was actually the Yo-Yo, but the crew decided, because McGovern was the only one on the crew who was married, to name the plane after George’s wife Eleanor who was from South Dakota. One of the things that I really appreciate about this book is that while the main focus is McGovern and his crew, you get to read about so many others and really know their stories. There is so much detail and you really get a feel for how difficult it was to actually get to fly one of these planes. They don’t say the B-24 was the hardest plane to fly for nothing. There were no frills and it took all of your mental and physical strength to fly and keep in formation and not crash. While reading this I really felt like I got a good understanding of what it was like to be living in Italy at this time, what it was like to fly these missions and how perilous it truly was. It definitely made me think and I have a whole new level of respect for not just the pilots and their crews, but everyone who fought and risked their lives in World War II. I 100% recommend reading this book.
Now normally this is where I would end a book review, but this one is different. I have a connection to the B-24. My great-uncle Joe Sage was a B-24 pilot. Now while he is still alive, I didn’t know much about his time in the war and still don’t know all the stories. I do remember him coming to visit ages ago and telling a bunch of stories, but I wasn’t at an age to where I appreciated it and I wish I could remember some of it. Anyway, going off of what I did have which was basically a name and when he was born, I went to the internet. I was actually amazed with what I was able to find. I found out that he was part of the 461st Bomb Group Heavy and it’s 765th Squadron. I was able to find out his crew number, and I even found a picture of him and his crew in front of their plane which was incredible and attached to that was a story from a radio operator about how he was an amazing pilot and on multiple occasions was able to save the crew and the plane. And it honestly made me a little emotional.
I also have another connection to the B-24. I’ve walked through one. This was about 3 or 4 years ago when The Collings Foundation came to an airport near me. They brought their B-24J Liberator, B-17G Flying Fortress, and P-51C Mustang. Basically you can walk through the B-24 and B-17, which is super cool, you can watch them fly, and you can even pay for a ride which I would love to do one of these days. It’s a great experience and I would highly recommend going to see them if you can. I’m going to post some pictures that I took on that day and I’ll leave the link to their website below.
I do already have my next read in mind, but if you guys have any book suggestions I would love to hear them :).
Until next time, enjoy reading and take as many pictures as possible :).
The Collings Foundation:
Instagram: Kyra Sage
Pinterest: Kyra Sage