New short ebook on the 4th ERS pilot Zahrt, MIA/KIA July 25, 1945
Dear Army Air Force forum readers,
In 2003-2007, I got crucial help from these forms tracking down information about the July 25, 1945, loss of a flight surgeon named Norman Zahrt, who went missing in action in a B-17 lost July 25, 1945, off Japan, and about the 4th ERS, which he was a member of. (The plane was 4th ERS 20th AF B-17G "Water Witch" #42-3882, aka "Jukebox 21.") As I noted then, I was interested in Zahrt because he was a friend of my mother's, and wanted to include his story in a memoir I was trying to write about her.
I've now written and published his story, and the story of his wartime relationship with my mother, in full cooperation with Zahrt's children, and a few days ago a new publisher called The Atavist published it in ebook form -- it is available, for $2 or $3, in Amazon Kindle versions and in an iPad version. It's essentially a long magazine article, about an hour's read. You can read the Kindle version, even if you don't have a Kindle, by downloading free Kindle software for PC, Mac, or other devices. Those links are at the right-hand side of the page where you buy the book. The iPad version is much richer, with many photos, documentary footage from the 2d ERS with a voice-over from a member of the 4th ERS, maps, and many other features.
Here's publisher's description does it fair:
On her deathbed, David Dobbs's mother Evelyn Jane revealed a secret she'd kept for 60 years about the man she had truly loved, and lost. His name was Norman "Angus" Zahrt, a married World War II flight surgeon with whom she'd engaged in a secret love affair, just before he deployed to the Pacific and disappeared. Intrigued by his mother's hidden longing, Dobbs embarked on a reporter's quest to uncover Zahrt's fate, and that of his family. The story he returned with, available as a Kindle Single from The Atavist, is an extraordinary tale of love, war, and how we confront the lost chances in our lives.
I think anyone with an interest in WWII will find it riveting. It is currently the bestselling Kindle book about World War II, and the #2 Kindle seller among all history. It tells the story not only of how the war brought my mother and Captain Zahrt together, but how Zahrt's unit operated, the sort of risks that were run by those who did wartime sea-rescue, and the crucial efforts of the Graves Registration Service (now the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) in solving the mystery of Zahrt's disappearance.
For those interested, I hope you enjoy it, and would love to hear what you think. And let me thank again this list for all the help it gave me in excavating this story. The information provided in the 4th ERS form was absolutely crucial in putting the story together.
You can buy the book here
. The Atlantic ran an excerpt here
London and Vermont http://daviddobbs.net