Military History

At War: Me and My Charley-47 <BR>By: W. L. Johnson, Sr., Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)
Price: $14.95
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ISBN: 1-59824-336-5
Edition: Paperback, 221 Pages
Publication Date: October 16, 2006
Other Editions: Hardcover
At War: Me and My Charley-47 is a new WW II book by an Army Air Force Troop Carrier pilot about the “flying stevedores” of the Army Air Force whose daily work was flying urgently needed gasoline, blood plasma, food and ammunition into cow pastures up front behind the armored spearheads and evacuating wounded in the face of terrible weather conditions. “Operation Varsity”, the Airborne crossing of the Rhine is described in graphic detail along with his squadron’s glider casualties.

This photo-illustrated book has an exceptional group of never before published pre-war photos of Hitler, Goering, Hess, Himmler, etc., at the mass party rallies in Nuremberg stadium. These photos were “liberated” under the noses of several hundred SS troops at considerable risk to the author.

He takes you from his Aviation Cadet training to becoming a twin-engine flight instructor before going overseas to England with 600 like instructors for a special mission, called “Eclipse”. His 62nd Troop Carrier Squadron, better known as the “Yacht Club” Squadron, gets a new, 23 year-old commander after the former commanding officer is shipped home to avoid being tried for shooting the King’s pheasants.

He is awakened to a “Red Alert” to Hitler’s audacious plan to break out the German POW’s in England as part of the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge.

You spend Christmas Eve, 1944 with him in a French village, infiltrated by German soldiers and disaffected French during the Battle of the Bulge. And the trip back to England turns from “no place to land”, to a miracle.

He gets his kicks by buzzing enemy and allied farmers and hunters in his Charley-47, to General Eisenhower’s frustration, but one day he gets his come-uppance.

The squadron moves to Picardie in France and they decide to build an officer’s club out of glider crates and then throw a huge opening party with dancing girls from Paris. He even lands behind enemy lines in the later stages of the war and participates in a raid on a German village.

At war’s end, he helps liberate Norway and by happenstance, Copenhagen. His biggest thrill is liberated French prisoners of war going “bananas” while buzzing down the Champs Elysée in Paris and the Eiffel tower before landing them at Le Bourget to a super French reception.