This book is a true story about one person's memories and experiences from the early 1920's to the end of World War II in 1945. It embraces the time in my life when I was impressed by the events of World War I from my father's stories about his exploits in that war and all my recollections about the changing scene in world events leading to World War II.
It also includes the part I played in it as a B-17 Bombardier in the 8th Air Force. I kept a diary during my time in the service and recorded, as much as possible, everything I experienced along with accounts of the 31 combat missions I was on.
I have tried to reveal a variety of personal and unusual experiences, that should hold your interest from cover to cover. It includes first hand accounts of what it was like to fly dangerous, exciting and many times tragic combat missions over Germany from the time we were briefed about the target we were to bomb to the time we returned to our base in Nuthampstead, England.
The final combat mission flown by the Eighth Air Force to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia on April 25,1945 is described in detail which you will find fascinating, nerve racking and tragically sad for two crews in our Bomb Group only two weeks before the War's end.
This book also will touch on unusual and unexplainable events that spared my life, which border on extra sensory perception that may be hard to believe but nevertheless happened.
Dr. Leonard Streitfeld, the author of "Hell From Heaven" was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1922. His memories are captured in this fascinating book from the time he was a child to the time he spent in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945. He kept a diary during his entire term of active duty and gives accurate accounts of his thirty-one combat missions over Germany as a bombardier in a B-17. There are many intriguing and dramatic stories from others who were sole survivors after their planes were shot down and became prisoners of war.
First hand accounts are given of the panic within the plane as the plane tumbled from the skies and how they were lucky enough to parachute out before the plane crashed and exploded. There are many unexplainable quirks of fate that made survivors out of some and spelled death for the unlucky ones.
For those of you who want the thrill of going on a combat mission over Nazi Germany in a B-17 from start to finish with all the dangers that occurred from being shot at by German fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns to fighting the elements at 25,000 feet, this book is for you.
If you are interested in what life was like in the Eighth Air Force at an American Air Base in England during WWII along with the experiences they had in towns around the base in Nuthampstead and London, England which includes some romance, then this book is for you. If you are interested in psychic and unbelievable events that took place, then for sure you will enjoy reading this book.
There are approximately 80 pictures and graphics in this book with some of the pictures being in color that have been reproduced from motion pictures. Dr. Streitfeld O.D., presently resides in Hammonton, New Jersey with his wife Mary. He has three children, Steve, Rick and Linda as well as four grandchildren.
He is active in the Eighth Air Force Historical Society, 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, American Legion, V.F.W., J.W.V., Associate Member of the Smithsonian Institute, Millville Army Air Field Museum, Hammonton Historical Society and several other Organizations including being a director in the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce.
Recently he was elected to the Hammonton Public School Board of Education and was voted Hammonton Citizen of the Year in 1991. He has written many editorials for the local newspaper but this is his first attempt at writing a book, and has already started another.