Timothy M. Gay
Adult Nonfiction D799.U6 G39 2012
Summary: They worked on the front lines--so they could write the headlines.In 1943, a group of journalists--including a young correspondent named Walter Cronkite and cub reporter Andy Rooney--received an invitation to fly along on a bombing run over Germany. Of the sixty-six that took off the next day, only fifty-two made it back to England. A fellow survivor asked Cronkite if he'd thought of a possible lead for his story. 'I think I'm going to say,' mused Cronkite, 'that I've just returned from an assignment to hell . . . ' Assignment to Hell tells the true story of the war against Hitler through the eyes of five intrepid reporters. Cronkite left behind a wife in Kansas City to extol the brave Americans battling flak and enemy fighters in the skies over the Third Reich. Andy Rooney was a smart-aleck draftee who found himself covering the war for Stars and Stripes instead of fighting it for the 17th Artillery Division. The New Yorker's A.J. Liebling turned his back on a pampered Manhattan lifestyle to trudge through the deserts of North Africa and the hedgerows of his beloved Normandy. Homer Bigart of the Trib was a stuttering, chain-smoking Renaissance man, who reveled in covering bombing raids and battles 'from the cannon's mouth.' The Associated Press's Hal Boyle, who nearly drowned storming a Moroccan beach, won the admiration of hard-bitten combat grunts with his infectious humor, salty language, and a flask of whiskey that he was only too happy to pass around.Crisscrossing battlefields as the Second World War raged, together these men formed a journalistic band of brothers, repeatedly placing themselves in the line of fire to get the story. Assignment to Hell is a vivid, thrilling tribute to five of the greatest war correspondents in history and the American soldiers they covered.
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