Return from Berlin: The Eye of a Navigator

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 03.07.2003 - 183 Seiten
During the summer of 1944, the now-legendary American Eighth Air Force was engaged in a ferocious air battle over Europe to bring the Allies victory over the German Third Reich. This is the story of one B-17 navigator and his crewmates, men who faced extraordinary danger with a maturity beyond their years. This vivid and detailed account of combat flying and its psychological toll also recalls the beginning of Robert Grilley’s development as a painter of international renown, as he spends his off-duty time drawing the peaceful Northamptonshire landscape around Deenethorpe airbase.
Wakened with flashlights on their faces in the predawn hours, he and his crew repeatedly face the Luftwaffe in battles five miles high, flying through flak "so thick you could get out and walk on it." Stretching their stamina to the limits, they succeed time after time in their missions to bomb munitions works, railyards, the Leüna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg in eastern Germany, the V2 rocket research center at Peenemünde on the distant Baltic Coast, and even to strike Hitler’s capital city, Berlin.
But Grilley finds interludes of unexpected grace and restoration on his days off, making serious drawings from nature at the neighboring Yokehill Farm. There he slowly cultivates a friendship with a curious eight-year-old, the lively child Elizabeth, who becomes for the combat flyer a symbol of survival.
 

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Inhalt

Prologue
3
Myself as an aviation cadet spring 1943 II
11
The 401st Bomb Group H in England at War
18
The First Mission
24
Hamburg
44
Landscapes and Elizabeth
52
Berlin
58
Frevent
65
Our crew reconstituted as a lead team August 1944
104
Nienburg and Kettering
106
Peenemünde
116
Interrogation August 1944
122
Berlin II
123
Goodbye Elizabeth
126
Ludwigshafen
129
Ludwigshafen Again
138

Montbartier
68
Our crew after Montbartier and Bay Biscay June 25 1944
72
Leipzig I
73
Munich I and II
76
IO Leipzig II
82
Marlene Dietrich
86
SaintLô
88
Merseburg
92
Lead Team
102
Groesbeek
142
Forgotten Missions
147
Münster
149
Bombing strike photo railroad marshaling yard Münster
150
Nürnberg
155
After the Last Bomb Run
163
Porter Ham and Robert Grilley September 1992
171
Drawing of Elizabeth at Yokehill Farm age eight
179
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (2003)

Robert Grilley is professor emeritus of art at the University of Wisconsin Madison. A respected figure painter and teacher, he has shown his work at museums and galleries throughout the United States, including a large retrospective at the Wichita Museum.

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