Wing Ding: Memories of a Tail Gunner
by Lt. Col. Gene T. Carson
I have recently finished reading Gene Carson's fine new book Wing Ding. As a writer and historian researching books of my own, I have been spending a lot of time reading accounts of the heavy bomber war over Europe in WWII. This is by far the most entertaining of the memoirs I have read to date. Gene Carson, air enthusiast, joins the Army Air Corps to fullfill his dream to fly. Instead, he ends up in the kitchen as a baker. Through persistance, hard work and a little luck, he is able to trade his bakery job for the more exciting--and more deadly--duty of tail gunner on a B-17 in the 388th Bomb Group. [NOTE: Carson flew a second tour with the 327th Squadron of the 92nd Bomb Group.]
To say more would detract from the reading experience, but this book is a great read, both from a historical perspective and for the interesting characters and situations "Wing Ding" encounters on his adventures. Wing Ding is a winner in every way. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the history of the air war, or how young men grow up in wartime. I look forward to Gene Carson's next book.
This book is available in hardback or paperback.
Published March 2001
Review by Rob Morris