The War of the Cottontails: Memoirs of a WWII Bomber Pilot

William R. Cubbins, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $19.95 (267p) ISBN 978-0-912697-96-3
Cubbins's account of his participation in U.S. bombing missions against well-defended Nazi war plants and oil refineries in central Europe is unusually detailed and suspenseful. Most of his memoir, however, has to do with his incarceration in a POW camp in Bucharest and morale problems in a prison that lacked strong internal leadership. Ironically, life became more difficult after Rumania pulled out of the war and freed the prisoners: the area was flooded with retreating German troops, and the ex-prisoners were terrified that they were to be rounded up by the Nazis. Also, the Germans wrought revenge on their former Rumanian ally by saturation bombing raids on Bucharest. Cubbins's account of survival in this Scylla and Charybdis situation vividly conveys the nightmarishness of the ordeal. In a thrilling climax, the senior American in the group arranged a dangerous flight to a U.S. air base in Italy, in a German plane piloted by a Rumanian, where he organized the first large-scale air rescue in history. Photos. Military Book Club dual main selection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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