Isaiah's Eagles Rising
by: Bernard "Barney" Thomas Nolan
They came in waves from the schools, factories, farms, and city streets, some driven by patriotism, but most with a dream. Bernard Nolan was one of the nearly 200,000 pilots who earned his wings during World War II.
Nolan relates the journey of one young airman from boyhood to completion of a combat tour with the U. S. Army Air Force's Eighth Bomber Command in World War II. It is the story of a youthful passion for flying: how an uneducated kid from a fractured home environment weaseled his way into the aviation cadet program; how his deliverance through flying threatened to unravel in the cold, lethal skies over Europe in 1944.
The author has imbedded his experiences within the context of the history of the air battle over Europe in 1943 and 1944. He explores why the Eighth Air Force lost a battle of attrition with the Luftwaffe in 1943, and how and why it eventually triumphed in mid 1944. Realism and little known details are provided in discussion of evolving technology, formation assembly and flying, ever changing tactics by both sides, prospects for surviving aerial combat, what it is like to be shot down, and excellent comparisons of the two pivotal aircraft, the B-24 and B-17. Nolan flew both in combat.
About the Author:
The author’s entire life has been spent in aerospace related activities including 22 years in the USAF as an active pilot. Nolan flew 33 missions in B-24s and B-17s with the 8th Bomber Command in Europe in 1944. Following his combat experiences, he was retrained as a transport pilot and flew North Atlantic and other routes for ten years. Thereafter he held various staff jobs until retiring from the Air Force in December 1965. Nolan held a Command Pilot rating and the regular rank of Lt. Col. on retirement.
After leaving the Air Force in 1965, the author took a job with NASA where he worked at Headquarters in Washington, DC for 15 years in various program management assignments. Among these, he was the program manager for NASA’s Airborne Geoscience Program and served as program manager for Landsat Operations. Following his “retirement” from NASA in 1981, he worked as an independent consultant to NASA and as a senior engineer for the Science and Applications International Corporation.
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