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Publisher's Summary

Through engaging narrative and first-person accounts, B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration captures the painstaking restoration of a World War II-vintage Boeing B-17 bomber by more than 100 volunteers in Pooler, GA. Airplane restoration and military aviation enthusiasts alike can follow the airplane's journey from the storage hangers of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to the Combat Gallery of the Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, where it arrived in pieces on the backs of four tractor-trailers. B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration charts the volunteer team's frustrations and successes over a six-year period as they cleaned accumulated crud from the bomber's surfaces and carefully recreated its aluminum skin, operating systems, armament and even its nose art. In addition, the book traces the histories of the two City of Savannah B-17s - the original and the restored - and includes many personal stories of veterans as told by themselves or their families. The City of Savannah volunteers brought a wide range of skills to the task. They were airframe and power plant mechanics, painters, aeronautical engineers, electrical engineers, business people and administrators, even a former physics professor with a PhD and 30 years of flying experience. Many were drawn to the project after their day jobs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, LMI Aerospace, Inc., and the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. Others were retired and eager to make a long-term commitment to restoring a vintage warbird.

©2016 Jerome J. McLaughlin (P)2016 Jerome J. McLaughlin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great for Aviation enthusiasts

A wonderful Book for listeners who have a great passion not only for Aircraft but the History
behind them.

The details are sometimes too much but I believe the group that enjoys this subject will not
be disappointed.


The Narrator did a good job.




This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Passion and Community create a must listen!

Note: This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review

Every once in awhile a book comes along and not only exceeds your expectations, but rewrites them. This was the case for me with “B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration” by Jerome J McLaughlin.

As a WW2 aviation enthusiast and the grandson of an 8th Air Force B-17G Pilot, I was eager to dive into this book. I expected straightforward retelling of the physical work of restoring a 70 year old aircraft. What Mr. McLaughlin delivered was a masterful combination of events, motivations, biography, press release, and historical documentation. I learned, not only about the aircraft, but about the amazing community of volunteers that made the restoration possible.

Bill Nevitt’s narration took the experience to another level. His excellent pacing and clear straightforward delivery made even the most technical sections of text flow and seem integral to the story.

Mr. Nevitt also recreated the author’s passion and obvious enthusiasm for the topic in a way that was genuine and seemingly heartfelt. The story was easy to follow and a pleasure to listen to. The frequent breaks for supporting documentation or narratives were clearly alerted in the narration making it simple to keep track of who was speaking.

The book has several sections and a significant amount of secondary source material. The final section includes several personal recollections of WW2 veterans and other individuals associated closely with the aircraft. I am so thankful that these tales were included in the text.

My only suggestion would be if there was PDF Companion that could be downloaded so the listener could see some of the people, objects, and locations described during the audio-book. This is done on many of the Audible Courses I have listened to. But a simple web search satisfied my curiosity.

This book is a must listen for any WW2, Aviation, History, or Restoration enthusiast. It is also a well spent 9 ½ hours for anyone who has visited a museum and wondered what goes into preserving and presenting the finest exhibits.

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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 11-10-18

Educational Listen

I found this book to be very informational. Jerome J McLaughlin wrote a very interesting book and had some cool stories included in this book. Bill Nevitt did a good performance with his narration. He is very articulate. I do not listen to many non-fiction books, but am glad I did listen to this one. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting book

I received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Its a good long and perhaps a little too in-depth discussion of the restoration. There's some things that I think could have been left on the cutting room floor, but overall an enjoyable and educational listen. If you like history you'll like this I think.

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  • KD
  • Somewhere
  • 11-05-18

interesting but somewhat dry

I did enjoy the content, but i did feel the content was. But i guess there is a limit to how interesting a book on vehicle restoration can be

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  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 10-25-18

Be careful what you wish for!

historical-research, restoration, museum, air-war, nose-art *****

Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
Any history geek into restoration can tell horror stories to back up that old saw,but few have dealt with a *free* historical relic the size of a World War 2 bomber. Imagine. First to get it cleared of debris, hire a specialized professional moving company, disassemble then reassemble at home site, then deal with cosmetics. And all on donations and volunteer work.
Excellent rendition of all the work done and unfortunate complications done in a matter of fact manner until time for crowing when all is done but the admiration of fellow aficionados.
Number Three son will certainly try to take his young family to the museum in Savanna!
Bill Nevitt is perfect for narrating nonfiction with his obviously interested presentation and clear unaccented voice.

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Enjoyable read

My first read/listen from author Jerome J. McLaughlin was not my typical read. A non-fiction work detailing the restoration of a WW II B-17 Bomber. Highly detailed & well-written, this book may not be for everyone but I found it enjoyable.

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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 10-20-18

Great retelling although it loses steam at the end

3.5 / 5

The first two thirds of this book tell the story of how the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force acquired and restored a B-17 flying fortress. Opened in 1992 the museum was built with the space for a B17, but it wasn't until 2009 that they got one - and in very bad shape. The next 6 years were built restoring the plane to it's former glory. The book tells the history of the plane (it never actually saw combat, but that an extensive post-war career) and how the restoration work was done. This was really interesting and highly informative.

The last third is pretty much just all recollections and statements from people involved. Some stories are interesting, some are just repetitive. It includes a large section that is just person after person stating how they got involved that why. It's an extended credits and thank yous, effectively. It is an important thing to capture, but it doesn't make for an exciting read. Especially after hearing something of "I did it a a memorial for the people who fought" twenty times in a row.

The writing and structure is a little stilted, but it works. Throughout the book it has little personal anecdotes or recollections from people involve in the work. they aren't included organically, instead are all prefaced with 'This was a recollection from XXXX' and end with 'and now continuing with out story'. It was very clunky.

But even with all my issues, I really enjoyed the book and the information within. I would definitely recommend googling the museum as there are lots of photos on it's website of the restoration. Would have been great if they could have been included in a PDF with the audiobook or something. I will admit, until I looked up the photos i was imagining in my head a B24, not a B17.

Narration by Bill Nevitt is good. He inputs the emotions of the personal anecdotes, but doesn't provide 'voices' for them. His accent (I'm guessing Georgian, to match the place of the book) grated at first, but I got used to it. He is well paced and clear and conveys the information well. Happy to listen to more of his work.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

TIMES OF THE WAR

A WONDERFUL NARRATION !
REMINDS US OF THE GREAT SACRIFICE AND LOYALTY THAT OUR MEN DISPLAYED IN WW2.

I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE FROM THIS NARRATOR!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book with only one drawback

I received this book from Bill Nevitt in return for an honest review.

I very much enjoyed this book as it details the restoration of the B-17 Flying Fortress The City of Savanna. Much detail regarding the history of the B-17 in general and this aircraft in particular. Jerome McLaughlin does an excellent job of telling the story. Bill Nevitt does an equally excellent job of narration. My only complaint about this book is that McLaughlin frequently takes the reader out of the story and onto rabbit trails in sidebars that are informative but distracts from the unfolding story. I would have preferred them to be put into an appendix in the back of the book and just let the story unfold naturally.

This is the only audiobook that I have finished so far this year.