Essay: Bomber Pilot by Philip Ardery

Sample Essay

Philip Ardery’s book Bomber Pilot: A memoir of World War two starts off with a look at a first lieutenant in the U.S army reserve. The book starts by detailing the man’s aspirations to join the Army’s Air corps. How he perceived the life as one of bravery and appeal. And how he was able to overcome the physical examination and be accepted for flight training. The rest of the book speaks of his campaigns over Europe and North Africa before eventually returning to his wife in 1944. Before that however the book chronicles his difficulties in not only joining the war effort but also his personal sacrifices in leaving his family behind.

One of his campaigns speaks of his unbelievable exploits in North Africa.  As a pilot he was forced to land his B-24 with only one engine functioning. He managed to do so safely and spent the next two weeks fighting alongside his crew during the invasion of Sicily. The most riveting and important account given in the book is about the raid on the oil fields at Ploesti, Romania on August 1, 1943. This acts as a firsthand account of the battle showing not only the basic layout of the raid and problems encountered but also the casualties they suffered.  He also speaks about his life outside of the cockpit. He gives details about how his comrades would take items with them on missions to barter with during captivity. He also speaks about his desk jobs and his meetings with several famous celebrities such as Jimmy Stewart and T.S Elliot. The book also speaks of his life as a high ranking officer in the military and what benefits they afforded him and ends with his return to his family home (Ardery, 1978).

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