• Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II

  • By: Philip Ardery
  • Narrated by: James Killavey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II

By: Philip Ardery
Narrated by: James Killavey
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Best Aeronautical Book Award from the Reserve Officers Association of the United States.

"The sky was full of dying airplanes" as American Liberator bombers struggled to return to North Africa after their daring low-level raid on the oil refineries of Ploesti. They lost 446 airmen and 53 planes, but Philip Ardery's plane came home. This pilot was to take part in many more raids on Hitler's Europe, including air cover for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

This vivid firsthand account records one man's experience of World War II air warfare. Throughout, Ardery testifies to the horror of world war as he describes his fear, his longing for home, and his grief for fallen comrades. Bomber Pilot is a moving contribution to American history.

The book is pubished by The University Press of Kentucky.

©1978 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Combines a novelist's eye and a poet's touch." ( Air University Review))
"A magnificent story, told simply and without heroics." ( Army)
"One of the best early attempts to illustrate the view from the command position." ( Flight Journal)

What listeners say about Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating...and true story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Great story...helps you to appreciate incredible bravery of our bomber crews.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II?

Raid over Ploesti, Rumania.

What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Brought it to life. Excellent reading.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A little bit of each.

64 people found this helpful

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

Gripping story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Gripping story, well written and well read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author...duh!

What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

Very good narration ... let the author tell the story without trying to "take over."

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both..in different sections.

Any additional comments?

This ranks right up there with my all time favorite WWII flying book..The Wrong Stuff.

63 people found this helpful

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

Great book!

What made the experience of listening to Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II the most enjoyable?

The authors presents an excellent recounting of his WWII experience. he is frank, honest, and has an open style. Loved it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II?

The raid into Poland

What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He made me feel like I was there. Very good narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both in different scenes.

Any additional comments?

Very enjoyable book

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow...these guys were heros!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Wonderful insight into what it was like in those planes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author.

Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. Consistently good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nope..too long.

Any additional comments?

Normally I stick to Navy books but tried this for a change of pace. Glad I did. It was wonderful..tragic in places but truly showed the heroism of our boys.

56 people found this helpful

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

Really enjoyed this book.

If you could sum up Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II in three words, what would they be?

Great real story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II?

The raid over Pelosi.

What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

Everything. He was very good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Title sounds just fine too me.

Any additional comments?

I usually like books that are personal recollections - especially WW 2.. This is no exception. Good descriptions of air combat from the command pilot's perspective. Was an easy listen and made a long car trip very enjoyable. Found myself taking the "scenic" longer route on the way home, just so I could keep listening.

55 people found this helpful

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

Audio even better

Where does Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II?

raid in Poland.

What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

Enjoyed it very much. Good narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of each.

Any additional comments?

I read this book a while back and liked it so much I decided to listen, as well.
If anything...the audio version is better. Get that sense of "being there" more.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent ... all around.

Would you listen to Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II again? Why?

Ardery's account of his life as a B-24 pilot is excellent. From all the training it took to simply get into the planes, to combat in the skies over the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, Ardery's account is an even-handed account of what a bomber pilot's life was like.
The chapter about Ploesti is especially fascinating. James Dugan and Carrol Stewart used Ardery as a source for their book on the subject, and the details of Ardery's part in the
raid offer some really interesting stuff. Especially intruiging is the background and fate
of Medal of Honor winner Lloyd Hughes, who was flying on Ardery's wing when when he perished. This book is really good stuff; Steven Ambrose's "Wild Blue" pales in comparison. Ardery doesn't place himself on a hero pedestal, he merely tells of his experiences in a very
interesting and easy-to-digest style.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Author

Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

Sounded like the author talking to me.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done

Would you consider the audio edition of Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II to be better than the print version?

Don't have time to read so this was my only option.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author, of course.

Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think so..He was very competent for this type of book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh...not so much. Cried a few times at the incredible loss of American lives.

Any additional comments?

My husband is in the Air Force but not during a war...Thank God!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

This narrator ruins the book

I returned a book once because of this narrator. Didn't check to see who it was this time, made it through the first 30 seconds and quit.

6 people found this helpful

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

Great story,well told!

As a WWII bomber pilot in

Bob Gilberts

Very real story of the bomber crews



told in a low key way






3 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 08-13-16

Excellent

Very interesting and detailed look into the life of a brave and humble US airman. I found the
narration not as engaging as other titles but still I'd highly recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-04-18

Informative Read

Very informative as I knew little of the US bomber war in Europe. Well written and objective. Narrators voice was quite annoying though and most certainly did not do the book justice.