Author: Ron Greer & Mike Wicks
Publisher: Greer Publishing
Reviewer: Bill McDonald – President of the MWSA
A B-29 Aircraft Crewmember’s Eye Witness View of History
I picked up “Fire From The Sky” and was just going to look take a casual stroll through the first few pages to see what it was about—but I got hooked on the reading of the air battles over Japan and of the men who flew these missions. The authors make great use of Herbert Greer’s personal diary that he kept during those dangerous and historic flights. You get some wonderful insights and not just facts and data about what happened. You read about the fears and feelings of the real men and what it was like to be a member of a B-29 Bomber crew.
The diary they use to set up the storyline of the book deals with more than just the 28 air combat missions that Greer flew over Japan as a radio operator. We get a little glimpse about his early life before his service; as a youth on the farm and to being involved with the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. However, it is the riveting stories of those fire bombing missions of Japan’s largest cities that becomes spell binding.
The authors make great use of the actual diary entries along with comments and thoughts from the now much older Greer to make you feel like you are a part of the flight crew. The reader will begin to feel and almost experience their emotions, as the stories of their missions unfold. These men took great risks and put their own personal lives on the line for their country; this book captures this piece of history, preserving it for future generations. Even though these men were all heroes; they were not supermen of any kind but regular flesh and blood men who did some very astonishing things in their young lives. They really did help to end the war with Japan.
This is a book you will not be able to put down until you are done. It is a well told memoir of the men whose missions will live forever in history! Meeting them in this book is a cherished privilege for the reader. It was my honor to have read the book; it felt almost sacred to be allowed to look inside a crew member’s personal diary—truly a treasured artifact of historic and sentimental value. This is a book worth reading several times. Great black and white photos as well. I fully recommend buying and reading this wonderful book about aviation and the men who crewed B-29s.