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Tail-End Charley

Stories from an American Fighter Pilot in World War II
Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (109 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On his 19th birthday, James E. Brown tries to fake to his flight instructor that he has flown before. On his 21st birthday, Brown is on his way home after logging 85 missions in a P-47 fighter over Italy, France, and Germany.

Brown's stories surrounding his training and combat experiences in World War II reveal brushes with death, continuous peril and, ultimately, a coming of age for a young man whose freshman year in college becomes instead a heroic engagement with one of the fiercest enemies his country has ever encountered.

Ever dutiful to the mother who tells him to "write it down, Jamie", Brown notes his experiences in the journal she provides and adds detail later to deliver a firsthand account of life as a pilot in the final months of combat within the European Theater.

Serving as Tail-End Charley - the last man out - in most of the missions he flew, Brown's job was to record results for the interrogation officers afterward. But Brown offers much more insight in this memoir. Follow his triumphs and travails with colleagues who become lifelong compatriots during an indelible period in American history.

©2017 James E. Brown (P)2018 Tantor

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Good read !

Honest, well written and interesting. A very good read, especially if your an aviation fan or a WWII buff.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding History

This is an outstanding historical account of the men who flew the P-47 “Jug” in the Mediterranean theater of World War II. James E. Brown did a wonderful job of capturing and writing about the story of his and his friend’s training before the war and then the combat they experienced together that followed. Highly recommended for reading or listening pleasure. A very important historical record of that time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book

this was really well done. I'm very interested in history and this fills in a lot of gaps and made it feel like I was there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good performance, ok srory<br />

Interesting story about P47 fliers near the end of WWIi. The narrator tried to build up suspense and I kept waiting for more action. Don't get me wrong, author and his colleagues made a great contribution and sacrifice, but a little mundane.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good easy listening

Stories from a average(if there is such a thing) P47 fighter pilot. What a life it must have been. Listening to the excitement, drudgery and sadness of war, this book provided all.

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Captivating

I often enjoy war stories and this one is no exception. Well detailed and very well read. it reads like a diary. Enjoyable all the way through. Thanks for a great read.

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  • John
  • Chamblee, GA, United States
  • 04-03-19

Good Fighter Pilot Chronicle

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is written in essentially a diary format covering J.E. Brown's service in the Army Air Corps in World War II, from his enlistment to his discharge.

Brown served late in the war, from 1944 until the war was over in April 1945. Although the Allies largely controlled the skies during this time, the book is a reminder of how dangerous service was, even in this part of the war. Many of Brown's friends did not make it.

The stories are well-told, but could have been better. The book proceeds mission by mission. For inexplicable reasons, Brown typically prefaces each story with a summary of the mission and then makes a more detailed description. It takes away the immediacy of the more detailed story. The book would be better if the summaries were deleted. Further, as others have noted, the narration is not great. It's competent, but a bit of a monotone. It could have been better.

Overall, it's a great story about how a boy from Kansas became an excellent pilot in serving his country in World War II. There were many of those who served, but not all returned.

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<br />

great detail of the men who fearlessly flew P47 thunderbolts on low level missions in 44-1945 over hostile terrain and a still dangerous enemy.

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Good but not great.

I love first-person accounts of war stories. While Brown has some good and interesting stories, they just don't have that touch of details that is present in many other memoirs. He often finishes his stories with you wondering what happened next. And only on occasion does he answer that. Still the book does provide some good details about flight training and life in the European theater and I was glad to have read it.

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great personal journey

loved this book, It's not full of Ace bravado. It really shares the story of the "everyman" working fighter pilot. a blue collar history of the air war in europe.

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  • James
  • 05-03-18

As it was

This book is well written and well read. The style is matter of fact and undramatic. I suspect that it gives a truly authentic account of life as a fighter bomber pilot in the last months of the war. Dangerous and unglamorous and far removed from the “knight of the sky” fighter pilot image. It also underlines just how well trained USAAF pilots were at this stage of the war. First class.

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  • Tom Moscrop
  • 09-20-19

Great listen

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, had me smiling from ear to ear at some points. Very interesting from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-19

Touching and amazing story

absolutely loved it! it was a touching story and really gave an insight into what it was like for a ww2 pilot.