The Mighty Eighth and Ace in a Day

Being there . . . . to join in acknowledgement, nay, reverential appreciation, of the actions
resulting in the heroics of the U.S. Eighth Air Force airmen in the embattled skies over Europe;
then, strap yourself in the cockpit behind “Blick”, Lt. Col. Wayne K. Blickenstaff, as he and
fellow-pilots fight the German Luftwaffe while pursuing the Allied strategic air campaign against
Germany . . . . .
“Untempered by ideas of caution, the men of the Eighth Air Force pursued their concept of
strategic bombing with dogmatic faith. It was this fervor to get things done, to surmount all
technical and operational obstacles, that took the Eighth further along the road it chose than
ever the British or Germans would have deemed possible.
Procrastination and the negative were scorned, and even bloody experiences did not deter the
overwhelming intention to succeed. This spirit percolated from the top to the bottom; each
isolated combat group set in the English countryside proclaimed itself “the best damn group in
the AAF”, and in a sense, it probably was.”
Historian Roger Freeman – “The Mighty Eighth”
Reviewed and Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi

“THE MIGHTY EIGHTH – – A Glimpse of the Men, Missions & Machines of the U.S. Eighth Air
Force 1942-45”, by Michael Craig & the Military Gallery Commemorative Committee,
distributed by CASEMATE PUBLISHING: 2021, 128 pages, hc; $40. Visit,; and,
“ACE in A DAY – The Memoir of an Eighth Air Force Fighter Pilot in World War II”, by Lt. Col.
Wayne K. Blickenstaff, edited by Graham Cross. Casemate Publishers: 2022; 340 pages, hc;
$39.95. Visit, www.
Readers who relish World War II air war books should be aware of one of the best book
commemorative collections ever published. Distributed, of course, by Casemate Publishing, an
incomparable company in continual search for the best war titles the world’s military publishers
have to offer, the series also includes such titles as “Their Finest Hour”, “The Dambusters”, and
“Overlord – D-Day and the Battle for Normandy. These highly detailed books are not simply a
collection of artworks. First and foremost, they are historically accurate accounts, painstakingly
researched with the assistance of some of the leading historians on the subjects. That being
said, note that they are illustrated by some of the world’s leading aviation artists. Thus, true
collectors of aviation histories will demand they be placed among their most important air
battle stories and histories on the bookshelves of their living rooms.

The heroics of the airmen who served in the Eighth Air Force and fought the equally intelligent,
fiercely determined German pilots flying their varied aircraft, are legendary in the annals of
World War II aviation, and unit, histories. In 1942, when the American air force landed in Britain
in serious numbers with their latest combat modes, their coming sent deep sighs of relief to the
peoples of occupied Europe, and shudders of despair through the German High Command. For
the next three years, while Royal Air Force Bomber Command bombed at night, the Eighth
pommeled the enemy by day. By May 5, 1945, all fighting had stopped. Victory was ours. Wait
until you begin perusing the book upon its arrival at your doorstep, noting the high-quality
illustrations, charts, columns, diagrams, maps, quotes, and ton of other information us buffs
feed on. There is no need for urgent comments of gratitude for the reviewer’s sworn duty of
introducing his most highly recommended.
Ditto the aforesaid praise and insistence for “ACE in A Day – The Memoir of an Eighth Air Force
Fighter Pilot”. Making friends with Blick (Lt. Col. Waynes K. Blickenstaff) will be one of the most
memorable experiences, up-close and personally, and while bitterly fighting for his life above
the English Channel and across Europe, the enthusiast will remember in his or her lifetime of
reading stories of WWII. In short, Blick’s never-before-published wartime journal may well rank
as one of the three best personal memoirs yet published. His vivid writing places the reader
precisely where this reviewer wants his readers to be: next to the writer or participant, in
Blick’s case, right behind him, facing victories or tragedies in true life and death struggles. John
J. O’Neil III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air
Force, “It is one of the best memoirs of an American fighter pilot one can read.” Aptly, Blick
adds, “Whether I lived or died in my various air fights was due primarily to plain luck.”
The reader can determine for the self whether luck really had anything to do with his survival.

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