WWII, in the words of a young B-17 pilot, his parents and sisters, captured forever in the extraordinary collection of 800 letters that tell the story of one family's daily struggle to keep faith and hope alive. An American Family in WWII is the story of Ralph "Lee" Minker's war time service and that of his family as they watched and waited from a continent away. Lee's letters describe the rigors of pilot training in the U.S. Army Air Corps, culminating with the "Flying Fortress" that he would fly in combat. As part of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, the Minker crew flew in The Blue Hen Chick; Lee piloted a total of 37 combat missions during the air war over Nazi Germany.

The letters from the homefront sustained him, as his parents and two sisters shared daily life at home: family news, rationing, war bond drives, and all too often, high school friends lost on the battlefield. Their correspondence is timeless and will resonate not only with those who remember those years, but with those separated from loved ones in war zones today.

Silver Medal

Awarded the 2010 Silver Medal for biography by the American Military Writers Association.









"Every aspect of this book is outstanding."
- Writer's Digest International


































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