Published: 20 August 02
Air & Space Power Journal - Fall 2002
Fighting with the Screaming Eagles: With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne by Robert M. Bowen, edited by Christopher J. Anderson. Stackpole Books (http://www.stackpolebooks. com), 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055-6921, 2001, 240 pages, $29.95.
Robert M. Bowen’s Fighting with the Screaming Eagles provides a detailed history of the experiences of one man and his glider-infantry company in the Allied invasion of Western Europe in 1944–45. From training with the 101st Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, across the Atlantic to England, and through the D day invasion—and then from battlefield injury, to capture at the Battle of the Bulge, and ultimately to liberation from a POW camp—Bowen’s narrative conveys the full range of emotions and experiences of an American fighting man in the European theater in World War II.
His account begins with in-processing at Fort George Meade, Maryland, and his transfer to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 401st Glider Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division. Bowen provides rich details about his preinvasion experiences in England; through Operation Overlord; into combat in France, Holland, and Belgium; and, ultimately, his detention in Germany. Focusing on his own experiences as well as those of his unit, his book offers one of the very few accounts of glider-infantry units in Western Europe.
Bowen compiled his account just after the war, drawing on his memories and the collection of letters he had written home to his wife over the course of the campaign. The precision of his descriptions and his ability to tell a story make his experience come to life, proving once again that there is no substitute for the historian who has lived his or her subject.
The understated heroism of Bowen and his comrades shines through his humility and candor. The author’s wit and ability to cultivate the images of his experiences in the minds of his readers make Fighting with the Screaming Eagles a valuable contribution to the growing body of works that cover the Allied invasion of Western Europe in World War II.
1st Lt Jay Hemphill, USAF
Edwards AFB, California
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.