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Normandy to Nazi Surrender: Firsthand…
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Normandy to Nazi Surrender: Firsthand Account of a P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot (edició 2020)

de Colonel Van H. Slayden (Autor)

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Títol:Normandy to Nazi Surrender: Firsthand Account of a P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot
Autors:Colonel Van H. Slayden (Autor)
Informació:Black Rose Writing (2020), 149 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Normandy to Nazi Surrender: Firsthand Account of a P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot de Van H. Slayden

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Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
The majority of (auto)biographies, covering the Second World War, are memories of military personnel, serving in the army or other land forces. Others, that are dedicated to navy or air force, are primarily accounts of “aces”: flyers and submarines destroying (at least) five opponents.
This book is an autobiography of retired United State Air Force Colonel Phillip Van Hatton Slayden (1913–1996), that had become a military pilot in the United States Army Air Corps (AAC) just before the outbreak of the Second World War and then fought as a fighter pilot, flying P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers in the European Theater of Operations.
Book itself is composed with nine chapters, covering Van H. Slayden’s early life, military career, and war-time activities until the conclusion of the Second War War in Europe.
The first chapter covers his early life, with brief mentioning of college years, ROTC, and commissioning in the Infantry Army Reserve as a second lieutenant in 1935. After passing a physical exam, he started flying training in 1937. He first flew on PT-3, and then switched to P-12. Completing the flying schools in 1938, he was then assignment to the 36th Squadron, 8th Pursuit Group, which was equipped with different aircrafts.
Next chapter covers his activities in the time, when Second World War has already started but United States were still neutral. Van H. Slayden volunteered for a transfer to Panama, where he was assigned to protect the strategically important Canal Zone. At that time, he was already flying with P-36, and his tour of duty was not limited just to Panama, but he flew around Central American region as well. He also survived a parachuting into the Pacific Ocean, and two other crashes.
The third chapter deals with his personal life, Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor and consequences for him – going back to the United States, finally assuming command of the training squadron in the AAC’s Advanced Flying School. Then he attended Army Command and Staff School and upgraded combat training, before he was assigned to the 48th Fighter-Bomber Group, preparing to enter the war. He started to fly with P-39 Aircobra and P-63 Kingcobra, in which he also survived the fifth (and final) fiery crash.
On March 1944, he and the group left the United States for the Europe, which its covered in the 4th chapter, including training for the upcoming Operation Overlord. But he was transferred to the 84th Fighter Wing. “12 days behind the invading ground forces”, he also landed in Normandy, onto Utah Beach. He recounts the activities in newly liberated French region, including serving as a courier, subjected to German artillery. This chapter ends in November 1944.
The 5th chapter covers his involvement in the Battle of the Bulge, during which he assumed command of the 36th Fighter Group, that was stationed near Brussels (Belgium). He describes missions that he and other pilots under his command accomplished: from attacking German convoys, air bases and supporting land forces near St. Vith, the “vital road junction near a valley in the Ardennes, a bottleneck for most of the German forces retreating in the Battle of the Bulge”. For their contribution, the 36th Fighter Group was decorated with a Presidential Citation on 22 January 1945. His group was then supporting crossing the Roer River and then was the first unit, that performed a “voluntary landing of American combat airplanes in Germany”.
The next chapter deals with fighting over the Rhineland, when Allied forces were trying to cross the Rhine River. His command was ended on 5 April 1945, when he was relieved of the command, because “one of my pilots most unfortunately shot down a British Mosquito”. He recalled the whole incident. After that, he was assigned to the XXIX TAC headquarters, for the rest of the war.
7th chapter covers the end of the Second World War in Europe. At that time, he was stationed in Brunswick. He described the discovery of a large research facility of the German Luftwaffe and the “anticlimactic end” of his wartime career.
After a compilation of photos from his career, the book also has several annexes. First covers his early life in Tennessee, second his college years and third is a list of graduates of the Advanced Flying School, Class of 1938C. The fourth annex covers the fighter pilots in the 24th Pursuit Squadron, 16th Pursuit Group, while stationed in Albrook Field, Panama. Next annex recalls his pastime activities in 1942, searching for gold in the Arizona desert. 6th annex contains a “checklist for individual replacements for Overseas Movement, 27 January 1944”, that covers pieces of officers’ clothing and equipment for the European tour of duty. This is followed by the humorous memo for “Army Indoctrination Training for Redeployment”, that was issued in September 1944, when American military personnel were expecting the conclusion of the war by the Christmas of 1944. The second-to-last annex deals with his recollection of walking through a minefield in Brest, conducting surrender negotiations of the Fortress Brest. The final, ninth annex is a list of command and staff officers of the 36th Fighter Group in April 1945.
This book reveals the experience of the Second World War through the eyes of the military pilot, that has served in the European theater of operations primarily in the staff and command positions, which compliments other (auto)biographies, mainly dealing with combat pilots. Thus I recommend the book for everyone, interested in the ETO. ( )
  KlemenKocjancic | Apr 10, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
The late Van Slayden trained on a plane called the PT-3 biplane in 1937. He learned fighter pilot skills by flying or walking away from five crashes. Shortly after D-Day he landed on Utah Beach to help set up a US Army Air Forces in Europe. He flew the P-47 Thunderbolt or Jug, a fighter-bomber, in combat over Northern France and fought from the Normandy beaches to the Bridgehead at Remagen, and other missions. His 22nd Fighter Squadron was the first in the AAF to land voluntarily on German soil.
He was deep in the heart of Germany when the Nazis surrendered on May 8, 1945. Van Slayden, was a country boy from rural Tennessee, and like so many of the young men of his era, stepped up to the challenge as part of the Greatest Generation. ( )
  Elliot1822 | Mar 20, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Normandy to Nazi Surrender: Firsthand Account of a P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot, is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading. It follows the story of Colonel Van H. Slayden, a US Army Air Forces fighter pilot during the Second World War, from basic training to war's end, with extra chapters included that cover his life before and after the war. The book's focus is on Slayden's personal experiences rather than the events taking place as there are countless other books out there if you simply want to learn the history of the war itself. But if you, like me, enjoy reading about the people who experienced the conflict, this is the book for you.
The anecdotes within the book are endless; running from hilarious to sad to bitter. Any student of military history will enjoy this book and I'd like to note that it was co-written by Slayden and his daughter, Patrecia Slayden Hollis (and yes, her name is spelled right). Thankfully, she had plenty of family archival information to go on as her father sadly passed away before the book's completion. ( )
  Sturgeon | Feb 19, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
An interesting, relatively brief memoir focusing on the author's life in the Air Corps, late '30s into WW2. Written with his daughter, covers personal life briefly, and includes some interesting anecdotes. Well written and edited. ( )
  markknapp | Feb 17, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This is a book of memoirs in the life of a country boy who grew up in a small rural town rural in Tennessee from the early 1900s, joined the Army Air Corps and fought across Europe in World War II. I enjoyed this book. Written in the first person, it is easy to read, frequently in a humorous vein. Approximately half of this memoir is about his pre WW2 and wartime experiences in the USAAF and the other half, reported in the form of nine Annexes (Appendices) including anecdotes ‘growing up’ in Tennessee during the great depression and how he came to join the Army Air Corps. The personal detail makes for interesting reading but be warned, this is not a serious military history, although to be fair, his wartime reminiscences does include events not necessarily covered in a formal history book. Daughter and co-author, Patrecia Slayden Hollis, formally the Editor of the Army and Marine Corps professional journal “Field Artillery” for 20 years, collaborated with her father on this book. 4 stars.

An electronic copy of this book was provided for review by the publishers Black Rose Writing. ( )
  Kintra | Feb 15, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Slayden, Van H.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hollis, Patrecia Slaydenautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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