Apr 19, 2010


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Destination Vienna - kevin edwards, front cover detail

Destination Vienna is a book written in tribute to the author’s father and hero, William Edwards, 2nd Lieutenant U.S. Army Air Force. William Edwards immigrated to America from South Wales with his parents prior to the war and settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The author has provided the reader with a brief discussion of the events and situations which led to World War II, explaining the underlying unrest in Europe, and especially Germany, following the World War I Treaty of Versailles. He nicely summarizes the World’s attitude of the German militarization, which was in violation of the Treaty, in one succinct paragraph.

“In March of 1938 Germany took Austria without the use of force. The West did nothing. Then Germany decided that it wanted to take over a section of Czechoslovakia (created at the end of WWI) called the Sudetenland (an area heavily populated by Germans). Hitler and Mussolini met with leaders of Great Britain and France to discuss the issue. The West decided to appease Hitler, and the Sudetenland was handed over to Germany.”

The author then writes in the person of his father, taking us to Bridgeport, CT describing the relative prosperity and innocence of life in America following the Great Depression. War did come to the United States in December of 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As was expected of young men of that period William volunteered to serve in the USAAF and won a commission as an aircraft navigator.

2nd Lt. Williams discussed some of the challenged faced by the Army Air Force in equipment suitability and personnel needs. He paints a very vivid description of the physical conditions encountered by the crew when flying in a B-24. His description of the extremely dangerous but vital missions flown to destroy Germany’s oil supply leave one in awe of the bravery and tenacity of the B-24 crews.

The description of his last mission, destination Vienna, is captivating as his explanation of its outcome.

The book is an easy and enjoyable read, which gives the reader a personal insight into WWII in Europe.

Buy the book here.

Review by Howard Evans

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