We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. My family and closest pals back in North Carolina used to call me Bobby, at least until I told them to stop. It was probably the cream of all the American bases in England, to tell the truth about it. Just a little more than a year before that, the outnumbered Royal Air Force had destroyed Hitler's plans for invading England in the historic Battle of Britain, shooting down nearly 1,400 Luftwaffe fighters and bombers in four hellish months of dogfighting, while taking more than 800 fighter-losses itself. A marvellous story of a wartime romance and the suspense of bomber operations. Robert Morgan's memoir is an important and valuable history for WWII aviation enthusiasts and I found it to be an interesting and inspiring story. On the other side of the world most of the southwestern Pacific islands still lay heavily fortified in the hands of their Japanese conquerors, defiantly awaiting the massive Allied—and mostly American—counteroffensive just then gaining momentum under Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. William F. Halsey. Hell, look at today, as far as that went. ", "General, I'm sorry," he replied, "but we've already moved in.". Our crew sure as hell never tried to describe it. Here was a big plane built so well that she was almost a liability to herself. No such grandiose thoughts were on my mind as I left Interrogation after an hour or so of debriefing and headed thankfully to my quarters at Bassingbourn, the 91st Bomber Group's base fifty miles north of London. The Man Who Flew the MEMPHIS BELLE PROLOGUE I still go over to Memphis and see her once in a while. It was donated in April 1990. I was Dennis in a 1990 movie made about me and the crew. When that failed to budge the tight-lipped Pershing and the others—after all, the damn ships weren't moving!—Mitchell turned himself into a one-man truth squad, railing to anybody who would listen that the U.S. was failing to exploit the most potent new weapon in all of warfare. They're the best in the business, individually and as a team, but they look up to you. In military terms, America then was in the final stages of its ancient history. In the first three months of that great offensive, beginning in November 1942, you've seen a loss rate of more than 80 percent from your Bomb Group, the 91st. All this with deadly antiaircraft fire and cannon and machinegun rounds from hostile fighter planes and the smoke and debris from your comrades' planes around you cracking your universe apart just as the trip started to get dull. Maybe one more red-hot date in London. The aircraft was the namesake of pilot Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Our gunners managed to shoot down at least eight of these banshees and probably five others, and damage about a dozen. by Morgan, Robert [Robert Knight Morgan], 1918-2004, with Ron Powers. Every man in that crew took home a Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal and four Oak Leaf Clusters. A few weeks back they damn near took your whole tail-section off, and Quinlan with it. You've held on to it for maybe six, eight hours, knuckles white, keeping thirty-two tons of bomber steady at 25,000 feet, your hands wrapped around that shuddering yoke, your feet tensing against the rudder pedals. "Without the B-17," the General said, "we might have lost the war.". How did my life ever take me from a carefree, even fabulous Southern boyhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a life with servants and fast touring cars and beautiful girls and adventures inside what was perhaps the most sumptuous mansion in the United States, to this reckoning, this point in which one upcoming airplane ride could change my whole life, or end my life? Luckily, a few stubborn rebel visionaries thought otherwise. It was all those things, and yet all those things don't begin to describe it. The most influential was Billy Mitchell. High-spirited, young Robert Morgan was transformed from a fast-living, privileged playboy who grew up hobnobbing with the Vanderbilts into a steel-nerved pilot forged in the cauldron of World War II’s most dangerous and desperate aerial encounters. He received a court-martial for his troubles and resigned the service in 1925, but his ideas echoed, and steadily gained credibility. Members save with free shipping everyday! You let the rest of the crew get out ahead of you. Morgan was a … On every mission over Germany and France, Morgan flew the Memphis Belle with a photo of Polk taped to the instrument panel (16 pages of photos here in all), which made for great publicity. But this is after the game, if "game" is the word for what went on up there over Germany and was going to keep going on for God knew how long. I was "Morgan!" You don't move. Please try your request again later. This memoir portrays the reality of the pilot that nine other men entrusted their lives with to complete bombing missions over Europe. "Until you hear from the British, you can go ahead and stay there." You've heard about "luxury" all your life. Most B17s were shot down way before their 25th mission. First thing you do is, you sit there. Yes it is, but not necessarily for the accounts of combat missions flown by Robert Morgan, pilot of the famed Memphis Belle, the first B-17 of the 8th Air Force to successfully complete 25 … After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Free shipping . Well it should have, with its fine mess halls, its comfortable rooms, its workout facilities and ballfields and its comfortable bars for officers and enlisted men. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. There was a problem loading your book clubs. Not the sort of crowd you might think would cause Herr Hitler to lose any sleep. When the General finally did learn of Colonel Wray's lightning strike, he sputtered, "You can't move into that base! Just sitting there looking out through your scarred and milky Plexiglas windshield at the airfield and the English countryside beyond it, at the fine rain that always seems to be falling, at the wind sock on the control tower, at those black English bicycles strewn everywhere. You've done it twenty-four times and there's one more mission left to go, one more round-trip in the Belle, and if you make it, you can all go home. The book is easy to read and allows you a glimpse into the real men and women that led to the creation of the film story. Just incredible what these men of the Greatest Generation did, day after day. By 1934, when the Army was finally waking up to the need to repel an enemy invasion from overseas—maybe the reports of German throngs parading to the popular Nazi song, "When Blood Flows From Our Knives," had something to do with that—Boeing's fast-maturing prototype earned it a contract. Free shipping. We won. You sit there for your two or three or four or five minutes. Here we were, ten boys from an America that still relied on horse-drawn ploughs and buttermilk churns, thrust into a kind of warfare that ran on tachometers and super-turbochargers and Norden bombsights and ball-turrets and VHF transmissions. In the spring of that year, near the war's midpoint as far as America was concerned, the Axis Powers dominated Europe, Nazi U-boats terrorized shipping convoys in the North Atlantic, and German industrial cities poured out an unending supply of tanks, planes, weaponry and ammunition. Terms, America then was in the turning became like living extensions of their crews well she! My official designation in the business, individually and as a showcase for VIP.. Sell your information to others a review is and if the reviewer bought the item Amazon., Select the department you want to know what it was all agog about pushing the limits aviation. 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