4 out of 4 stars
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Letters from Bud, by Molly Brandenburg, is a mixture of letters and diary entries written by Bud Brandenburg, a World War II veteran. This collection was compiled by one of his daughters, Molly, and encompasses Bud’s days of serving as a flight navigator in the 492nd Bomb Group Koltun Crew as well as his adventures during his time working with the Air Transport Command.
In his letters home, Bud describes his missions as he navigates his crew from their target and back. While many of his missions are dangerous, Bud’s insights about the war offer a unique perspective into what life was like for many soldiers during World War II. Also included with Bud’s letters are excerpts from his diary that fill in the gaps and weave together events that happened between his letters home. Other than his missions, Bud also describes what he does in his free time such as riding his bike to various small towns in England or playing tennis with his buddies. Much of Bud’s letters and diary entries describe the people he meets and befriends as well as his flight mates from the 492nd Bomb Group.
The last chapter includes entries from a mission log book written by one of the members of the Koltun crew. These entries include observations of the events that happened during each mission as well as technical details involving the flights, such as the time when the bombs were dropped and the city that was the target. This chapter offers another perspective of the events during the war.
What I liked the most about this book were the photographs interspersed all throughout the book. There are photographs of Bud from his days as a soldier as well as photos of letters, itineraries, and photos with his buddies. Another thing that I liked about this book was the footnotes. They helped to clarify any army slang or gave more information about a person or place. For example, I was not familiar with the various names of USAAF planes, like FW 190 or F-47, so the footnotes helped to clarify what the letters and numbers stood for.
Overall, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I only noticed one error, but besides that one error, this book is refreshingly clear of errors. There was nothing that I disliked about the book. I would recommend this book to readers who like reading about war stories especially those from World War II.
Letters From Bud
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