Memoir of a B-26 Pilot in Europe in World War II


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About the Book

The B-26 Marauder was a formidable weapon in the campaign to defeat Hitler’s armies, and, in the words of his first copilot, “Louis Rehr “was the best there was” flying it. This memoir, which benefits from forty years of research on the combat history of the B-26, contributions from comrades, and an extensive collection of rare photographs, describes Rehr’s experiences, including five night-bombing missions he volunteered to fly in 1944 and accounts of attacks by Me-262 jets in late April of 1945. Rehr, a squadron commander with the 323rd Bombardment Group, earned 12 air medals, five battle stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.

About the Author(s)

The late Louis S. Rehr served with the Air Force reserves until 1958, when he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Carleton R. Rehr lives in South Harwich, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Louis S. Rehr with Carleton R. Rehr
Foreword by Trevor Allen
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: 96 photos, maps, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7302-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0113-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Trevor J. Allen      1

1 D-Day and the White Tailed Marauders      7
2 Fugitive from a Training Center Arrives in England May 1944      14
3 D-Day Plus 24, Earls Colne, England June 1944      32
4 Bridge Busting and Night Bombing, Beaulieu, England July–August 1944      45
5 On Leave in London Summer 1944      61

6 The Germans Retreat and Regroup: Flying Missions from Lessay and Chartres, France August–September 1944      73
7 The German Offensive: Flying Missions from Laon-Athies Airdrome, France October 1944–January 1, 1945      99
8 On Leave in Paris Late Fall 1944      125
9 Veterans and New Recruits: Flying Missions from Laon-Athies and Denain-Prouvy Airdromes, France January–February 1945      133
10 No Easy Road to Victory, Denain-Prouvy Airdrome, Valenciennes, France March–April 1945      145
11 The Last of the Jet Boys and Our Marauders, Denain-Prouvy Airdrome, Valenciennes, France April–May 1945      162

12 Disarmament Duty, Kempten, Germany May–June 1945      175
Afterword: Remembrance and Reflection, October 2002      195
(by Carleton Rockefeller Rehr)
Appendix One: Tributes to the Marauder      199
(by Carleton Rockefeller Rehr)
Appendix Two: Biographies      202
(by Carleton Rockefeller Rehr)
Appendix Three: Citations Received      210
Military History of Louis S. Rehr      213
Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

“well written…recommend[ed]”—Air Power History; “solid…Rehr’s book certainly resonates with more restraint, responsibility, and vision than most pilot memoirs…the author, assisted by his wife, has turned in work as meritorious as his service in the skies over Europe in 1944-45”—Stone & Stone Second World War Books; “Rehr has a smooth writing style and manages to describe the interior of a Parisian brothel with the same candor as he does dodging Axis flak at 13,000 ft. Rehr does an excellent job of describing the devastating capabilities of Germany’s Me-262 jet…excellent photographs…each image has been carefully chosen to punctuate the commentary leaving nothing to the imagination…a fast-paced read with excellent insights to the leadership personality and the performance of a thoroughbred medium bomber. Look for some great commentary on the Ardennes Offensive, D Day’s aftermath, and Adolf Galland’s JV 44”—Dave ‘Prophet’ Williams, The WWII Aviation Booklist; “beautifully produced with a fascinating series of photographs both aeronautical and personal…this is a fine testament to the ‘Marauder Men’”—Flypast.