Jewish Aviators in World War II

Personal Narratives of American Men and Women


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About the Book

More than 150,000 American Jews served in the air war during World War II. Despite acts of heroism and commendations, they were subject to bigotry and scorn by their fellow servicemen. Jews were sometimes characterized as disloyal and cowardly, malingering in the slanderous (and non-existent) “Jewish Quartermaster Corps” or sitting out the war in easy assignments. Based on interviews with more than 100 Jewish air veterans, this oral history features the recollections of pilots, crew members and support personnel in all theaters of combat and all branches of the service, including Jewish women of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The subjects recall their combat experiences, lives as POWs, and anti–Semitism in the ranks, as well as human interest anecdotes such as encounters with the Tuskegee Airmen.

About the Author(s)

Bruce H. Wolk is a fiction and nonfiction writer living in Denver, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Bruce H. Wolk
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9995-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2355-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Sheldon A. Goldberg 1
Preface 2
1. Where We Came From 5
2. The War Within 10
3. The Stars on My Wings—Europe 33
4. The Stars on My Wings—the Pacific and CBI 73
5. “H” Stands for Hebrew 98
6. My Brother’s Keeper 140
7. The Return 166
Epilogue 189
Appendix I: Roster of Interviewees 191
Appendix II: An Interview with Philip L. Elbaum, LCSW 199
Appendix III: The Fate of Downed Allied Airmen in Germany in World War II 201
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 212
Index 213

Book Reviews & Awards

“a fascinating and unique look into the rarely covered experiences of Jewish American service personnel serving in the US Air Forces as aviators during World War II…truly a treasure of remarkable World War II stories from a perspective rarely heard. Every military historian and Jewish War Veteran should have a copy in his/her library!”—The Jewish Veteran.