Gene Crandall was a propeller specialist and all-around mechanical troubleshooter in the 445th Bomb Group in World War II. Floyd Ogilvy was a waist gunner who flew 30 missions on a B-24. In 1999, while researching the ill-fated Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944, author Aaron Elson met Crandall and Ogilvy at a Cracker Barrel in Battle Creek, Mich., and the three talked well into the night.
Although Crandall was on the ground and Ogilvy completed his missions before the ill-fated Kassel Mission, on which 35 Liberators of the 445th flew off course and were ambushed by approximately 120 German fighter planes, Elson found the conversation so interesting that he thought it would make an informative book for anyone interested in the day to day life of the Army Air Corps in World War II.
From colorful stories about Jimmy Stewart, who was an original squadron commander in the 445th, to dramatic accounts of crashes at the base and an explosion at a bomb dump, "Two Guys Talkin' B-24s" presents a side of life in World War II that is often left on the cutting room floor of documentaries, the stories there's no room for in a one-page newspaper article or a three-minute television segment.