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The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys

Courage, Tragedy, and Justice in World War II

Gregory A. Freeman

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Published to glowing reviews, The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys tells the riveting story of a nine-man American bomber crew after they were forced to bail out over Germany in August, 1944. Quickly taken prisoner by a mob of angry farmers, shopkeepers, railroad workers, women, and children, the soldiers were marched into the nearby town of Rüsselsheim and assaulted with stones, bricks, and wooden clubs before being left for dead at the nearby cemetery. Drawing from trial records, government archives, interviews with family members, and personal letters, author Gregory A. Freeman follows two army officers charged with investigating the murders, and brings to life the dramatic story of how the depravations of war led the citizens of a sleepy German village to commit horrific acts.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys

“Lucid account of a terrible war crime”--The Washington Post

"A riveting narrative bolstered by frequent, helpful citations."--Kirkus Reviews

“The book’s greatest strength is its ability to convey the simple pain, uncertainty, and raw emotion experienced by the crew’s stateside families, who for so long held out the hope that their loved ones were still alive.  Three crewmembers survived – and Freeman tells their stories in a particularly effective manner.”--Military Review

"Freeman has once again crafted a gripping, cinematic narrative – one that raises important questions about justice and morality in a time of industrial annihilation of civilian populations. A timely and riveting story of heroism and horror."--Alex Kershaw, author of The Longest Winter and The Bedford Boys

“With The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys, Gregory A. Freeman delivers a thorough, artful, and absolutely riveting account of a fascinating yet tragic story of war, humanity, and justice.  Freeman again proves that he ranks among today’s finest historical storytellers.”--Alvin Townley, author of Fly Navy and Legacy of Honor

The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys is the gripping and insightful story of the Wham Bam crews first and last combat mission. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Gregory Freeman expertly weaves the history of the crew with the historic events that followed after they were shot down and captured. This is a fascinating and engrossing book that will be read for many decades.”--Brigadier General Don Harvel, Deputy Commander, Texas Air National Guard

"Gregory A. Freeman's The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys is a compelling, thought-provoking, and harrowing account of how a seemingly minor, brutal incident during World War II touched, and devastated, countless lives. It's a well-written, exhaustively researched, and thoroughly human story that shows how war can bring out the worst, and the best, in combatants and noncombatants alike. Haunting."--James Carl Nelson, author of The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War

“The powerful tale of an American bomber crew shot down over Germany.”—The Quarterly Journal of Military History

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Gregory A. Freeman

  • Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years of experience in journalism and historical nonfiction. He has won over two dozen awards for his writing, including the coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists. His books include Troubled Water, The Forgotten 500, and the acclaimed Sailors to the End.

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    The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys

    Courage, Tragedy, and Justice in World War II

    Gregory A. Freeman

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