WWII: WHEN WE FLEW ON BOMBERS’ WINGS
By Homer K. Buerlein
Edited and compiled by his elder son, Robert A. Buerlein
Published by Hailer Publications
The B-26 Martin Marauder Medium Bomber was known as a “hot ship” –
fast and difficult to fly. This is the story of flying this aircraft on 58
bomb missions in the ETO -- and daily life in between -- throughout the
critical year of the war, 1944.
Buerlein flew with the 391st Bomb Group of the Ninth Air Force out
of England and, after D-Day, out of France. Shot down at the Battle of the
Bulge on 23 Dec 44, he was taken P.O.W., so the book also details, with
photos, illustrations, and text, P.O.W. life for the following 4 ˝ months.
The book is richly illustrated, with over 235 photos and
illustrations, including many shots of B-26’s in action and on the ground,
including noseart. The format is 8 ˝” X 11”, with 277 pages.
Here are three book reviews:
Through this book, I became in Buerlein’s career, and the
comprehensive manner in which the diary, side-notes,
photographs, exhibits, etc. were all put together. The book
has the quality of intimacy, in the sense that this is not
simply a case of a record of achievement – though this is
there, of course – but a record of what the wartime flying
and the P.O.W. experience were really like, right down to
the sawdust bread in Stalag Luft I.
Ronald E.G. Davies
Aviation Historian, Author and
This is a very interesting book, and I think it is remarkable
that Hank Buerlein took notes and so many of them. He had
a real knack for writing about his observations, which were
very keen. The context of the accounts are very well written,
and I was interested in reading the happenings as they were
listed. It is a very good chronicle of the events of that period.
Of particular interest are his notes describing his parachuting
after being shot down on December 23, 1944 during the Battle
of the Bulge; his capture; being sent to Stalag Luft I (German
Prison Camp); and his accounts of the days he spent there
until his release at the end of the war in May 1945. There are
not many accounts by Prisoners of War about their German
prison camp life. It concerns a lot of information that none
of us have ever read.
This is recommended reading for all of us who were there and
those who were not. I gladly endorse this book.
Colonel Hugh Walker, USAF (Ret.)
391st Bomb Group Historian
The writing quality of Buerlein’s diary is remarkable, especially
given the circumstances under which he wrote. I couldn’t put
The photos are great and really enhance the personal feel,
which is a large aspect of the diary, itself. All of the background
notes, illustrations and text from others, such as Vandenberg
and Rundstedt, help set the stage and make this a highly
readable book, even for those unfamiliar with World War II.
I like the numbered bombs designating each of the 58 bomb-
mission diary entries.
This book gives the reader an intimate, personal perspective
meshed seamlessly with the broader story of the ETO. It is
captivating from the beginning to end – a great work of history.
It was good of the son to realize the value of preserving his
Dad’s experiences for future generations. I am sure this book
will be widely read. Thanks to Buerlein for sharing his story
with all of us.
Paul C. Parrish, Reviewer
Son of a WWII Aviator
+ $4 packaging and shipping