An Emotional Gauntlet: From Life in Peacetime America to the War in European Skies
University of Wisconsin Press

An Emotional Gauntlet: From Life in Peacetime America to the War in European Skies


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Stuart J. Wright tells the gripping story of a World War II American aircrew flying missions from England in a B-24 Liberator bomber they nicknamed Corky. This is a true account based on years of research and correspondence with crewmembers and their families. Wright adds a dimension rarely explored in other World War II memoirs and narratives, beginning the chronicle during peacetime when the men of the aircrew are introduced as civilians-kids during the 1920s. As they mature through the years of the Great Depression to face a world at war, questions are raised about just and unjust wars, imperialism, and patriotism. Jingoistic sentimentality is resisted in favor of objectivity, as the feelings and motivations of the crewmembers are explored: the Chinese American air gunner had hoped to serve in the U.S. Army Air Force to fight against the Japanese invaders of his homeland; the Jewish navigator felt compelled to join the battle against Nazi Germany.
In recounting the harrowing conditions and horrors of bombing missions over Europe, An Emotional Gauntlet emphasizes the interpersonal relationships within the crew and the spirit these men shared. Corky's crew served under Operations Officer Major James Stewart (the Hollywood movie star.) They often returned from arduous bombing missions to sleep in half-empty hutstheir friends in other planes had not been so lucky. Pilot Jack Nortridge regularly assured his crew, If you fly with me, I'm going to bring you home. This book is a testament to their strength and determination.


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