War Eagles: A Bird's Eye View of 305th Bomb Group and the Eighth Air Force from the experiences of David C. Cox and Joseph B. Boyle

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Title: War Eagles: A Bird's Eye View of 305th Bomb Group and the Eighth Air Force from the experiences of David C. Cox and Joseph B. Boyle
Author: McDowell, Michael Norwood
Advisors: Dr. David Zonderman, Committee Member
Dr. Joseph Caddell, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Nancy Mitchell, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to document the history of the 305th Bomb Group and the Eighth Air Force during the critical early period (late 1942 through 1943) in World War II through the experiences of two members who served during this era. This thesis will take a personal view of the aerial combat through the wartime diary of David C. Cox and the oral history of Joseph B. Boyle. Cox and Boyle were friends who served in the 305th Bomb Group from its beginning until they were shot down during different missions in 1943. After the downing of their planes by the Germans, both men became re-acquainted as they became roommates in Stalag Luft III, the German POW camp where events depicted in the movie The Great Escape happened. Other studies have documented the history of the Eighth Air Force and the 305th Bomb Group. During this time, the Eighth Air Force was just beginning to learn the difficulty of conducting daylight bombing missions over Europe. During the period from October 1942 through December of 1943, the losses for the Eighth Air Force were very high, mostly due to the lack of a fighter that could escort the bombers all the way to their targets and back. Other historians have documented the difficulties that the Eighth Air Force, and the 305th Bomb Group in particular, faced during this stage of World War II. What makes this study unique are the sources of David Cox's diary and Joseph Boyle's oral history, which make a much richer and more personal history of the early days of the 305th Bomb Group.
Date: 2006-06-27
Degree: MA
Discipline: History
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2859


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