Friendly Monster: Warbird and Its Crew

Xlibris Corporation
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Friendly Monster was the code name for the B-29 bomber in the pacific area during World War II. The author is John W. Cox, the commander of a remarkable flight crew and their tour of duty during the war. It starts with their training period and introduction to the state-of-the-art airplane. The crew participated in the first bombing attack on Tokyo since the Doolittle raid in 1942, then on to the end of the war. Highlighted are descriptions of the bombing,strafing and air combat the crew experienced on the missions they flew from the Marianas Island of Saipan, shortly after arriving in November 1944.

The book covers a period from April 1944 to July 1945. John Cox left the service in 1945 as a Captain with over 1000 hours flying the B-29 including 450 hours in 33 combat missions against Japan. Although the crew of the “Mary Ann” experienced some close calls and survived dangerous missions, no man on the crew was lost or wounded. A remarkable feat and a testament to the crew’s professionalism and dedication. They were credited with shooting down 21 Japanese aircraft with 10 confirmed kills and the tailgunner Cpl. John Sutherland of San Antonio, Texas emerged as the Ace of the Marianas with 5 confirmed kills. The crew was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and three battle stars. In addition to the adventures of the “Mary Ann” the book chronicles and demonstrates the capability of air power to destroy and defeat a modern empire without the need to set foot on enemy territory.
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About the author

John Cox spent over 16 months and flew 33 combat missions from Saipan in the Mariannas to Japan. Although the battles to control the Pacific Islands were long and bloody, once the islands were taken it fell to sea power and air power to topple the Japanese Empire. No invasion was necessary and many American lives were spared because, for the first time in history, air power soundly defeated an enemy. The lessons learned in the B29 air campaign were not used effectively until 2002 in Afghanistan. John separated from the service in early December 1945. He married childhood friend Dixie and raised 2 daughters and a son in California. He attended USC on the GI Bill. He studied Electrical Engineering obtaining his Electrical Engineering degree in 1949 and Master of Science in 1952. He went on to work for Rockwell in servo mechanisms. John continues to fly. He is the Treasurer of the Flying Club at Fullerton Airport in Fullerton, California, and a flying instructor.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Xlibris Corporation
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Published on
Sep 27, 2007
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Pages
179
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ISBN
9781450069762
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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When the author was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1942 he had no reason to expect special treatment. Instead, because he was a typist and draftsman, he was grabbed up by an outfit desperately in need of those skills. It was the G-3 (Operations) Section of the 82nd Airborne. Len Lebenson thus gained a ringside seat for some of the greatest campaigns of World War II.

The 82nd fought throughout the ETO, from the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and France, to the Netherlands, the Bulge and the drive on Berlin. And throughout the campaigns sat Lebenson at the division’s nerve center, typing orders, drafting battle maps, and acting as liaison. A rare enlisted man with “bigoted” (top secret) status, he was privy to the 82nd’s actions as they were being devised. In the process, he was able to gain firsthand looks at Ridgeway, Gavin, Patton, Montgomery and other luminaries who came through the Headquarters.

Along with the divisional staff, the author arrived in battle in many different ways—by ship, plane, glider, parachute and jeep. With the rest of the All American Division he shared the blistering heat of Africa, the bonechilling cold of the Ardennes, the confusion of battle, and the ever-present enemy fire.

Rising from private to master sergeant, Lebenson thought that he had “the best job in the army.” In this revealing memoir, however, he never fails to give full credit to the men on the firing line who suffered the greatest hardships and casualties. The author has provided a rare behind-the-scenes view of the 82nd Airborne in World War II, yet he is the first to acknowledge that his greatest honor was to be “Surrounded by Heroes.”

Len Lebenson lives in New York City.
Gene Garrison spent a terrifying nineteenth birthday crammed into a muddy foxhole near the German border in the Saar. He listened helplessly to cries of wounded comrades as exploding artillery shells sent deadly shrapnel raining down on them. The date was December 16, 1944, he was a member of a .30-caliber machine-gun crew with the 87th Infantry Division and this was his first day in combat.

Less than a year earlier, he had taken the first steps in charting his future, entering college as a fresh-faced kid from the farmlands of Ohio. Now, as the night closed around Garrison, slices of light pierced the darkness with frightening brilliance. Battle-hardened German SS troopers using flashlights infiltrated the line of the young, untested American soldiers. Someone screamed "Counterattack!" In the maelstrom of gun fire that followed the teenaged Garrison struggled to comprehend the horrors of the present, his entire future reduced to a prayer that he would be alive at daybreak.

From those first frightening, confusing days in combat until the end of the war five months later, Gene Garrison saw many of his buddies killed or wounded, each loss reducing his own odds of survival. Convinced before one attack that his luck had deserted him, he wrote a final letter to his family, telling them goodbye. Garrison gave the letter to a buddy with instructions to mail it if he died.

From the bitter fighting west of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge to the end of the war on the Czechoslovakian border, Garrison describes the degradation of war with pathos and humor.

Gene Garrison's story is told through the eyes of the common soldier, a man who might not know the name of the town or the location of the next hill that he and his comrades must grimly wrestle from the enemy but who is willing to die in order to carry the war forward to the hated enemy. He writes of the simple pleasure derived from finding a water-filled puddle deep enough to fill his canteen; a momentary respite in a half-destroyed barn that shields him from the bitter cold and penetrating wind of an Ardennes winter; the solace of friendship with a core of veterans whose lives hang upon his actions and whose actions might help him survive the bitter, impersonal death they all face.

The rich dialogue and a hard-hitting narrative style bring the reader to battlefield manhood alongside Garrison, to each moment of terror and triumph faced by a young soldier far from home in the company of strangers.
“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.

An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.

Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man.

“In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
 
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Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
 
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
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“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
 
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
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“An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel.”—Washingtonian
 
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“Hillenbrand [is] one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book—you just have to love great storytelling.”—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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