Non-Fiction Books:

The Flight of the Malfunction

Sergeant Walter Babinski - A B-24 Ball Turret Gunner in WWII


Paperback / softback

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The Flight of the Malfunction by Greg Babinski
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An envelope of charred military records launched the author on a 20-year journey across four continents to learn about his father and his comrades before, during, and after World War Two. The story of Sergeant Babinski's service is also the story of the Thirteenth Air Force - known as the Jungle Air Force during WWII. It is also the story of the 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), known as the Long Rangers, one of the heavy bomber units that launched some of the first long distance attacks against Japanese controlled territory in 1942. The Long Rangers continued to set records by flying farther and longer than ever thought possible by the designers and builders of the B-24 Liberator bomber. The Flight of the Malfunction follows families as they escaped the Austrian Empire to industrial Detroit before WWI. This was an era when Ford, General Motors, and America created golden opportunities for hard-working families. But then the Great Depression tested them to the limit. Just as these families emerged from hard times, America was plunged into crisis again in 1941. Farm boys, factory workers, and kids just out of school came together when America called them to duty. Trained to use the most advanced military technology of the time, they were sent to the far corners of the world to fight the enemies of freedom. Young Walter Babinski entered the Army in 1943 and crisscrossed America to become an aircraft mechanic, an aerial gunner, and finally a ball-turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber crew. This is a story of young men who came together as friends and then relied on each other for survival time after time. Assigned to the 307th Bomb Group (the Long Rangers) of the 13th Jungle Air Force on Guadalcanal, the crew of the Malfunction faced danger together. On one of their first missions, they almost killed a famous American pilot. Many times they saw their friends and comrades killed, and more than once they wondered how and why they survived. General MacArthur drove the 13th Air Force hard. He pushed them to new bases surrounded by the Japanese across the South Pacific. He asked his crews to do things with the B-24 that they were never designed to do. The crew of the Malfunction accomplished long lonely missions with courage, humor, and humility. And then they came back to family and friends to live quiet, meaningful lives. The Flight of the Malfunction was extensively researched with information from many published sources and previously classified combat plans and battle reports, as well as interviews with family members and many of Sergeant Babinski's comrades. - 8.5" x 11" - 417 Pages - Two Page Detailed Chronology - Two Page Map of the Southwest Pacific showing bases, targets, travels - Two other original full page maps - 11 Contemporary maps - 20 contemporary paintings by Sgt. Robert Laessig, used with permission from the US Air Force Art program - 12 Pages of military records (some previously classified) - 274 contemporary illustrations and photos - Full bibliography - Endnotes
Release date NZ
March 23rd, 2017
Illustrations, black and white
Orzel Books
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