In this remarkable biography of Sergeant William M. O'Loughlin, the author, Mark Verwiel, portrays thrilling aerial combat over North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Italy during some of the most savage fighting of World War II. Then came the fateful day when O'Loughlin's squadron of B25 Mitchell bombers was launched to destroy the Isoletta Dam and break the formidable Gothic Line. What happened next to O'Loughlin was lost to history.
While casually perusing a family photo album, Verwiel discovered a vintage newspaper clipping of men who had fallen in battle. "Who was this?" he asked, and his father replied, "That's your Uncle Bill." This was the first that Verwiel had heard that one of his relatives had served, much less that he had been killed in action. So began a quest to learn about the man behind the name, and equally important, why his story had been all but forgotten.

William Maurice O'Loughlin was a product of the Great Depression and when the stormy clouds of war darkened the horizon, he volunteered for military service. Whatever his plans might have been, they were upended when he met Betty Cummings. After a whirlwind romance, he shipped overseas to begin his combat tour as an aircrewman, and he left behind a new bride, pregnant and hopeful.

O'Loughlin's loss broke Betty's heart and that of a daughter he was never to meet. His tragic death rippled silently across the generations until Verwiel and his family amassed the historical record and breathed life into O'Loughlin's wartime adventures.

When we think of World War II, what comes to mind are the sweeps of armies across continents, the grand strategies of generals and admirals. But victory was only possible by the sacrifice of the ordinary man in uniform, doing his duty, and this is such a story.

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  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 180 Pages
  • File Size: 13,076 KB

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