On August 29, 1944, the United States dispatched dozens of B-17 and B-24 bombers from airfields in Italy to bomb the Czech city of Moravska Ostrava. On that day, the 20th Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group drew the unenviable position of the “tail end charlie” position at the very end of the stream of bombers flying into the hostile airspace of the Third Reich. Much could go wrong for the squadron’s seven bombers when tasked with such a position and, when 80 German fighters materialized out of the late morning haze and roared in for the kill, much did.

Mighty by Sacrifice, published by the University of Alabama Press, tells the story of the heroic yet ill-fated mission to Moravska Ostrava. It focuses on the aviators who flew the mission – men like Bill Tune, the son of an impoverished family in the Alabama coal country, and Loy Dickinson, a teenager fresh out of high school in Berkeley, California. At the same time, the microcosmic view of their last mission provides a broader window on the larger Combined Bomber Offensive against Nazi Germany and its allies during the Second World War.


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Mighty By Sacrifice

Jim Noles

James L. “Jim” Noles, Jr., is a partner in the Environmental & Natural Resources Section of Balch & Bingham, LLP, in Birmingham, Alabama.  An Army brat and former Army officer, he is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Texas School of Law.  To date, his books have covered a variety of non-fiction subjects and his articles have appeared in such diverse publications as the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Smithsonian Air & Space, Preservation, Urban Land, Continental, and Mental Floss.  Jim resides in Mountain Brook, Alabama, with his wife Elizabeth and sons James and John.  He sits on the Board of Directors of the Mountain Brook Library Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, attends St. Steven's Episcopal Church, and can be reached at jnoles@balch.com


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