On April 21, 1945, the twelve-member crew of the Black Cat set off on one of the last air missions in the European theater of World War II. Ten never came back. This is the story of that crew—where they came from, how they trained, what it was like to fly a B-24 through enemy flak, and who was waiting for them to come home.Historian Thomas Childers, nephew of the Black Cat's radio operator, has reconstructed the lives and tragic deaths of these men through their letters home and through in-depth interviews, both with their families and with German villagers who lived near the crash site. In so doing he unearths confusion about the exact number of crash survivors and ugly rumors of their fate at the hands of the German villagers. His search to determine what really happened leads him to the crash site outside of Regensburg to lay the mystery to rest.In the tradition of Young Men and Fire, Wings of Morning is history as commemoration-an evocation of people and events that brings to life a story of love, loss, and a family's quest for truth.
Reviews of In the Shadows of War: An American Pilot’s Odyssey Through Occupied France and the Camps of Nazi Germany. In the Shadows of War: An American Pilot's Odyssey Through Occupied France and the Camps of Nazi Germany (9780805057522): Thomas Childers: Books. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
The dramatic true story of an American pilot, a French schoolteacher, and a British-trained leader of the French underground in the climactic year of World War II
In a small village in France during the fateful summer of 1944, three disparate lives converged in an unlikely secret alliance. Just after D-Day, Colette Florin hid downed American bomber pilot Roy Allen in her rooms above the tiny girls' school where she taught. While concealing him not only from the Germans but from her neighbors in the small village, she was drawn deeper into the clandestine world of the regional underground. There she met the local leader of the resistance: Pierre Mulsant, a young Frenchman trained by the British secret service who had parachuted into France in the spring of 1944.
Drawn from extensive interviews, letters, and archival documents in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, In the Shadows of War tells their interrelated stories, following these three fascinating people from their Resistance activities in rural France, to Paris and captivity by the Gestapo, to Germany and Buchenwald concentration camp. It is a human story of love and loss, of courage and sacrifice by ordinary people who did not make policy or formulate strategy but whose lives were profoundly altered by war.