Charles HamlinAbout the Author

Charles D. Hamlin, of Rockland, Maine, has a long history of military experience. In 1942, at the age of 15, he left his home and small town to join the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Radio School and Gunnery School, and successfully completed both. In 1944 alone, he flew 35 missions in the 8th Army Air Corps, mostly as a ball turret gunner. He celebrated his 17th birthday on a mission to Germany.

He remained in the military for 20 years, retiring at the ripe old age of 36 with a whopping pension of $145 a month. His military career included nine years of U.S. embassy duty with service in Mexico, India, and Egypt, along with four years in NATO service in Turkey.

Married to a former Miss Egypt and movie personality from Cairo, Mona, Charles has enjoyed 55 years of wedded bliss so far. They currently live in Houston and have two children, Joseph and Jaqueline, and five grandchildren.

His many missions included most of the missions described in this book, such as the four Berlin missions, Augsburg, Munich, Stettin, Poland, Hamm, Zwickau, Leipzig and Regensburg. There were others where B-17s would fly into known German fighter zones, without carrying bombs, to find and destroy enemy fighter aircraft. These missions carried only proven gunners who had shot down at least one enemy aircraft.