This book consists of a series of letters written by a young man
during WWII. He went from banker to bombardier. He underwent
starvation, depravation and his moral conflict with killing the
enemy to a fear of being able to do his duty. Dead bodies laying
around, flies, filth, hurricanes, no smokes, no candy, no female
companionship.These are some of the things he lived with all the
while flying in a cramped nose of a B-24 bomber with his pet dog
beside him on all forty eight missions.
He earned the moniker "Torchman Tucker" after firebombing a
village which gave him much personal conflict. He says in a letter
to his mother, "I wonder what God thinks of me." Just before his
first bombing mission, he wrote of his apprehension of being able
to do the right thing for his crewmates and country.
His letters also tell a story about America. His crew was all
boys by today's standard from all over the country. Busy with life
farming, banking, and all the other normal things were suddenly
immersed in the business of war. The farmer became their pilot, the
banker became the bombardier, and the recent high school graduate
became a waist gunner and so the story goes. In the end, they all
did what was expected of them and they returned to America quietly
trying to fit in society. But their lives had been changed
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