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Description - Inferno: The True Story of a B-17 Gunner's Heroism and the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History by Joe Pappalardo

There's no higher accolade in the U.S. military than the Medal of Honor, and 472 people received it for their action during World War II. But only one was demoted right after: Maynard Harrison Smith.

Smith is one of the most unlikely heroes of the war, where he served in B-17s during the early days of the bombing of France and Germany from England. From his juvenile delinquent past in Michigan, through the war and during the decades after, Smith's life seemed to be a series of very public missteps. The other airmen took to calling the 5-foot, 5-inch airman "Snuffy" after an unappealing movie character.

This is the man who, on a tragically mishandled mission over France on May 1, 1943, single-handedly saved the crewman in his stricken B-17. His ordeal is part of a forgotten mission that aircrews came to call the May Day Massacre. The skies over Europe in 1943 were a charnel house for U.S. pilots, who were being led by tacticians surprised by the brutal effectiveness of German defenses. By May 1943 the combat losses among bomb crews were a staggering 40 to 50 percent.

This book examines Smith's life in a new light, through the use of exclusive interviews of those who knew him (including fellow MOH recipients and family) as well as public and archival records. This is both a thrilling and horrifying story of the air war over Europe and a fascinating look at one of America's forgotten heroes.

Buy Inferno: The True Story of a B-17 Gunner's Heroism and the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History by Joe Pappalardo from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, BooksDirect.

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