I sent a pre-publication copy out for some input. Here are some results:
“We found the narrative compelling” Julie Huggins, Assistant Editor, Smithsonian Books.
From: Dave Williams
To: Marcus A. Nannini
Subject: Midnight Flight to Nuremberg
Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
“WOW! I don’t know what else to say. All through this book it felt like I was right there with Harry. It was amazing. Another home run. I will get this back to you tomorrow. Can’t wait for the next book!” Dave Williams
From the author of Chameleons, an Untold World War II Story and Left for Dead at Nijmegen, The True Story of an American Paratrooper in WW II, comes another gripping WW II biography, MIDNIGHT FLIGHT TO NUREMBERG.
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MARCUS NANNINI’S LATEST FIVE STAR REVIEWED BOOK: Left for Dead at Nijmegen, The TRUE STORY OF AN AMERICAN PARATROOPER IN WW II now the 2019 nonfiction book of the year!
AMAZON HAS LEFT FOR DEAD AT NIJMEGEN ON SALE TODAY FOR ONLY $21.70 FOR THE HARDBOUND EDITION: https://www.amazon.com/Left-Dead-Nijmegen-American-Paratrooper/dp/1612006965
LEFT FOR DEAD AT NIJMEGEN IS IN THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
1944-2019 Marks the 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Harry piloted his C-47 “Skytrain” aka “Dakota” aircraft through five Market Garden missions and lost his close friend in the process.
This is the true story of First Lieutenant/Flight Instructor, veteran of twenty seven combat missions, recipient of three air medals, seven battle stars and Market Garden veteran, Harry E. Watson, USAAF
Midnight Flight to Nuremberg
The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power
Includes exciting, complete coverage from the perspective of a C-47 pilot of OPERATION MARKET GARDEN. Every Exciting Mission!
Marcus A. Nannini
10 Year old Harry Watson was stuck, head-first, in the narrow opening at the top of a rock pile that served as a deterrent to those who might seek to enter the long-abandoned Pennsylvania coal mine. His mom, fighting a blinding snow storm, struggled to the top of the pile, pushed Harry through the gap and into the mine where he would gather enough coal to carry the family through the Christmas, 1932, holiday.
At the age of 12 he learned his first hard lesson about the value of money. He was suffering from a painfully infected tooth which needed to be extracted. The dentist advised his parents he could pull the tooth at a cost of four bits, but for an additional four bits he could give Harry an injection so he wouldn’t feel any pain. His father didn’t have the extra four bits (fifty cents) and Harry suffered the consequences. It was an event that would serve as a life-long motivation to do better for himself.
Following high school it was apparent to Harry he was doomed to a life working in the coal mines, just as his father, grandfather and great grandfather had done. He was terrified at the prospect.
One evening he sought the counsel of his mother who concluded: “Harry, there ain’t but one way outta here and that’s the military!” He was still two months short of his 18th birthday, but suddenly he felt hope for a better future.
With his mom’s assistance he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940. Harry performed significantly above-average on numerous Air Corps intelligent tests and was fast-tracked to the rank of second lieutenant. When it was time for his first solo flight he nearly killed himself, and everyone in the airport’s control tower. His misadventure was mistaken as showboating and earned him a reputation as being a risk-taker, a trait he amply demonstrated as a youth and would propel him into dangerous assignments in the future. Despite the “risk taker” moniker at age 19 he became the youngest Flight Instructor on the base.
One of his first missions in Europe was as part of a 126 plane relief mission. Ignoring the order to abort the mission and in the face of “zero-zero” visibility flying conditions he successfully piloted his “Dakota” to Paris, delivered two tons of desperately needed whole blood and returned with a plane-load of wounded soldiers. He was almost court-martialed for his failure to obey orders, but his Colonel didn’t want to lose such a talented pilot.
Later in the war he was caught on the ground while on an urgent fuel resupply mission to a platoon of Patton’s tanks that had run out of gas. He spent a miserable, wet night in a foxhole only a few hundred yards from an encamped Panzer Grouppe. When the sun rose he came face-to-face with a German Mark IV tank. As the tank’s turret rotated it momentarily had Harry in its gun-sight. Fortunately the tank didn’t fire until it was pointing in another direction.
He flew every Market Garden mission and led the daring rescue of a field hospital that was in danger of being over-run by elements of the dreaded “SS.” He experienced the loss of several friends and witnessed the deaths of hundreds of pilots and paratroopers. In April, 1945 he was sent on a secret midnight mission behind enemy lines to snatch the Nazi responsible for propelling Hitler into power.
A few years following the end of World War II he achieved his long-time goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Throughout both his military service and commercial pilot careers he never failed to send his mom some money every month.
Personal letters are included in the story and offer intimate glimpses into Harry, the human being, as he transformed from brown haired recruit to gray haired combat veteran.
For a great selection of WW II books and a great deal more: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk//?aid=1211
Table of Contents
- Courtney, Pennsylvania
- Growing Up
- “You’re in the Army Air Corps Now”
- Aviation Cadet Class 43E
- Basic Pilot Training
- Advanced Pilot Training
- Bergstrom Army Airfield
- The Northern Route
- Greenham Common, England
- Blood Run To Orly
- Fueling Patton’s Tanks
- Operation Market Garden
- Battle of the Bulge
- Emergency Evacuation
- A Second Market Garden
- Midnight Flight to Nuremberg
- Who was Franz Von Pappen?
- Victory in Europe
- The Post War Years
- Harry’s “Last Flight West”
- Letters to Junie, Danny and God
You can reach out to me here: MARCUSNANNINI@AOL.COM
Copyright Marcus A. Nannini, 2018, 2019, 2020