Masters of the Air

Masters of the Air is a story of life in wartime England, in bombed-out London, and in the tiny hamlets these brash young Americans completely transformed. In East Anglia, many airmen fell in love with British girls they met in the local pubs, and over 45,000 American servicemen brought home English brides after the war. The beautiful countryside and stately manor homes give way to the remains of air bases, some of them with their control towers still visible on the skyline.



Aircraft and Airfelds

The rural farmland of East Anglia became the headquarters for the “Bomber War.” Villages, with pre-war populations in the hundreds, suddenly buzzed with the energy of thousands of pilots, crew, and support staff carrying out the missions to bring about the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Almost daily, citizens of villages such as Thorpe Abbotts, Rougham, and Horham would hear the roar of the engines and watch B-17s, B-24s, and ghter escorts take to the skies. This was a new type of warfare, a war waged from the skies against an unseen enemy.


Aces, Warriors, and Wingmen

The duties of a bomber crew were vastly different from that of the ground troops. The crew of a B-17 was able to live in relative quiet for the majority of their service. But when the combat mission came, it was intense, chaotic, and dangerous. One critical malfunction, one piece of flak, or one error could mean death or capture for all. The noise was deafening, the air was cold, and the enemy could hear the approach. Each successful mission only brought about the prospect of more. For men like Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, Louis Loevsky, and Eugene Carson, each mission was either one step closer to the end of the war or one step closer to an unfortunate end.

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