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Book Title: Serenade to the Big Bird|
ISBN 13: 9780764313967
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.97 MB
City - Country: No data
The author of the book: Bert Stiles
Edition: Schiffer Publishing
Date of issue: September 20th 2001
Loaded: 2318 times
Reader ratings: 5.6
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After completing a tour of duty (thirty-five missions) in B-17s, Bert Stiles transferred to a fighter squadron. Just four months later he was killed in action on an escort mission to Hanover, Germany, on November 26, 1944. Stiles' book was written in the period between his two tours. Serenade to the Big Bird portrays the tragedy of war, and specifically the loss to the world of a fine, sensitive, talented writer who had only a short time to prove his merit. He died at twenty-three.
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Read information about the authorBert Stiles was an American author of short stories who was killed in action during World War II while serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces.
Stiles enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, became an aviation cadet, and upon completion of training, received his officer's commision as a 2nd Lieutenant in November 1943.
Initially, Stiles served as a bomber pilot with the 401st Bomb Squadron of the 91st Bomb Group (U.S. Eighth Air Force) in Britain. He flew his first combat mission over Germany on April 19th, 1944 and completed his combat tour before the end of the summer of 1944.
Throughout his service with the 91st Bomb Group, Stiles continued writing (something he had taken to when he worked as a features writer for his college newspaper) both highly personalized pieces for the London Daily Mail, articles for Yank and Air Force Magazine, and the manuscript for a book.
Upon completion of his combat tour, Stiles refused an opportunity to return to the United States as a flight instructor and volunteered for a second tour with the Eighth, requesting an assignment in fighters. He completed conversion training and was assigned as a pilot with the 505th Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group, a P-51 Mustang unit stationed at Fowlmere, England, about five miles distant from his previous base at Bassingbourn.
On November 26, 1944, on the 16th mission of his second tour, Stiles' squadron was flying at 26,000 feet altitude south of Hanover, Germany, on a bomber escort mission. Stiles was flying a P-51 nicknamed Tar Heel, normally flown by Capt. James R. Starnes of his squadron (P-51D- s/n 44-14113). Encountering 40-60 Luftwaffe FW-190s, Stiles engaged one in combat and shot it down (Air Force Historical Study No. 85 credits Stiles with the kill), but apparently became disoriented when the dogfight descended to low altitude. His P-51 impacted the ground almost immediately, killing him. Stiles is interred at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Liège, Belgium.
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