A Mighty Fortress is the personal account of the Captain and crew of a lead bomber in the enormous formation raids made by the 8th Airforce during the last few months of the Second World War.
It is an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery on the part of the entire crew of just one B17 amongst hundreds — but the one B17 that meant most to them.
Flying a total of 27 missions before the war came to an end in May 1945, Alling tells, with great restraint, the story of what it was like to be there, over the skies of enemy territory, constantly on the look out for German fighters; of the enormity of some of the raids they were part of and the consequences for those on the ground; of the planes around them that fell out of the sky under enemy attack, the horror and the determination to succeed. The book gives a unique insight into the lives of one crew of one plane as the War neared its end.
Charles B. Alling received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters during the Second World War. He graduated from Yale University in 1947. In 1988, he retired and studied Ethics at Oxford University Graduate School in England. In 1989, he founded the Alling Institute for Ethics. The institute is affiliated with The Foundation for Leadership and Ethics in New York City of which Alling is Chairman Emeritus. Alling serves on the Board of Visitors of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, an appointment by former Secretary of Defense, Bill Cohen. He lives in Kennebunk, Maine.
“In a fascinating way, Chuck Alling recalls his days as a pilot flying B-17’s over Germany. He is truly a member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ and from his book, written from the heart, people can learn a lot about the laughs and the tears of World War II.”
— Former President George H. W. Bush