But when his mother committed suicide upon learning she had inoperable brain cancer, Morgan's life changed dramatically. He was no longer a carefree playboy; he was a man searching for meaning.
He found that meaning at the controls of an airplane, and in the flak-and fighter-filled skies over Occupied France and Nazi Germany. The plane was a Boeing B Flying Fortress. He and his crew flew 25 successful daylight missions over Europe in the Belle, and were immortalized by Hollywood director William Wyler in a documentary called The Memphis Belle.
Interesting side note, Col. Bob Morgan went on to fly 26 additional bombing missions over Japan in a B! Great book! View 1 comment. Mar 12, Chris Tschirhart rated it liked it. Got to know some things I did not know before. The book got into a bit of his life that didn't have all that much to do with the Belle and how youth got the better of both of them and they didn't wind up together as they thought they would during the war. It is interesting that he flew another 26 missions to Japan in B 29's and how it almost took him to the end of his rope.
Robert died a few months after the book came out.
Part of the last great generation. Apr 29, Todd Kehoe rated it really liked it.
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It is more than just historical accounts of WWII. Jul 13, Andi rated it really liked it.
Very engaging. I'm not usually big on memoirs but this was easy to get into and get lost in. Jul 31, Michael Dorosh rated it it was amazing. Leaving aside the question of historical accuracy except for one comment - I was a little unconvinced by Morgan's soliloquy's on WW II grand strategy, such as his explanations of how the war in Russia was fought, and other things that he as a year old bomber pilot would have known little about and perhaps cared even less.
These parts of the book come across as forced. Having said that, however, I have no doubt Morgan felt them necessary to put the overall story into context, and they do tha Leaving aside the question of historical accuracy except for one comment - I was a little unconvinced by Morgan's soliloquy's on WW II grand strategy, such as his explanations of how the war in Russia was fought, and other things that he as a year old bomber pilot would have known little about and perhaps cared even less.
Having said that, however, I have no doubt Morgan felt them necessary to put the overall story into context, and they do that well. This makes the book perfect for youngsters or those with no understanding of the larger picture of WW II history, and thus provide this with a broader appeal.
THE MAN WHO FLEW THE MEMPHIS BELLE by Col. Robert Morgan , Ron Powers | Kirkus Reviews
But the meat of the story is Morgan himself. This is not "just" a story of a bomber pilot, this is a wonderfully told story of Bob Morgan, the man, and a blushingly honest discussion of his many demons - his relationship with his departed mother, his father and siblings, his girlfriends, fiancees and wives, his crew many of whom were fast friends , his superiors, and a terrific look at how he grew up, trained for war, matured as a commander, lived as a returning veteran, and overcame the evils of a pampered upbringing, and learned the value of hard work.
The details about his tour with the 8th Bomber Command were especially interesting, and his revelations about the WW II documentary about his aircraft will answer many questions for ardent Memphis Belle fans who always wondered how much of the documentary was real apparently, not much , and also records what Morgan thought of the film with Matthew Modine apparently, not much.
His tour in Bs is also well discussed. This is very much a terrific human interest story which just happens to take place in flak-filled skies.
- 7 editions of this work!
- American Language Supplement 1!
- The Words of War!
Colonel Morgan is to be commended for his bravery in baring his soul to the rest of us, for trying to make sense of his life in a way that we can all learn, for admitting to the hurt he has caused others, and allowing us to relate to his own hurts. He was a courageous man at 23 - he had to be - but then, of his own accord, I think he was even braver in his 80s for writing this thoroughly inspirational book. Aug 31, Lindsay rated it it was amazing.
Robert K. Before my review I must be honest about my connections to the story of Robert Morgan. I first fell in love with the movie, Memphis Belle and when picking a research project in college, chose the Memphis Belle, the plane and crew. I've also helped to restore the Belle when it was in Millington, TN with the Memphis Belle Association and when it came to naming my daughter, I could think of nothing else than the Belle and named her Morgan after the pilot. Robert Morgan begins his story all the way back to childhood in Asheville, NC on the Vanderbilt estate.
He fills the book with engaging stories of his childhood and eccentric upbringing.
My favorite parts were hearing about his mother's and Gloria Vanderbilt's friendship. He also indulges the readers interest by telling of his whirlwind romance with the Memphis Belle, Miss Margret Polk and his heroics in serving both in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war.
I greatly appreciate Col. Morgan's perspective looking back at his life. He does so without glorifying his accomplishes or exaggerating his mistakes but instead comes across as a grandfather telling his story as straightforward as possible. I appreciated the truth of his escapades rather than the conformed story the magazines and newspapers shared. He makes the WWII generation seem closer to the present generation by showcasing the true feelings of a young man going off to war.
This is a must read of those wanting an honest look at a war hero. Because of language and some adult content, I would suggest for older high school and adult. I appreciate the story more as I get older and am able to look back on my life with a new understanding. This is an incredible book, providing both a detailed look at what it was like to fly bombers during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters , as well as an incredibly intimate look at the impact it had on the life of the author.
He was a reckless young man who joined the army because he knew his services were likely to be needed and because he wanted This is an incredible book, providing both a detailed look at what it was like to fly bombers during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters , as well as an incredibly intimate look at the impact it had on the life of the author.
He was a reckless young man who joined the army because he knew his services were likely to be needed and because he wanted to fly. He ended up doing more than his share of both before the war was over. He is famous for his 25 successful missions flying the Memphis Belle, but after returning to the US for the publicity tour in , he learned to pilot the B and found himself on Saipan, flying 26 additional bombing missions over Japan. He is candid about his failings and thoughtful in reflecting on his motives and behavior.
He is equally reflective about the impact of his war experiences on his life after the war, and does an interesting job of charting the response of the nation to the war in tracing both his personal story, as well as that of the Memphis Belle herself. It is fitting that both Morgan and the Belle find some peace at the end of the book. This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in learning what it was like to be part of the unprecedented bombing campaigns of the Second World War, or anyone who wants to better understand the impact of that war on those who fought it.
View 2 comments. Morgan does a great job telling his story. From his early life, living at the Builtmore estates in NC to basic to being the first B pilot to bring his crew home after 25 missions. He talks about his missions in the Europen theater of the war and even going on to fly in the Doolittle raids over Japan.
This man flew a total of 51 missions 25 over Europe and 26 over in the Pacific theater when the average crew flew about 8 or 10 i dont recall the exact number it may be higher or lower It Col. This man flew a total of 51 missions 25 over Europe and 26 over in the Pacific theater when the average crew flew about 8 or 10 i dont recall the exact number it may be higher or lower It's easier to keep up with his missions than it is to keep up with how many times he married. It's funny to read about all his antics and wildness then its humbling to read about his losses and courage.
ISBN 13: 9780525946106
The book goes through his life after the war also. All in all an amazing read. I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed. Oct 29, Jen rated it liked it Shelves: historical-non-fiction. I honour all those who fought in the battles in the sky including Robert Morgan and I'm pretty sure it's nothing to do with the book itself or the way it was written, but sadly I couldn't get into this book. I found myself skipping large chunks of it which I loathe myself for doing.