A collector friend of mine recently contacted me and let me know he has Leonard Herman's 9th Air Force uniform in his collection. This gentleman was kind enough to send me some photos of Len's uniform. Leonard Herman flew two tours of duty in the skies over Europe in World War Two, first with the 8th in 1943 and then with the 9th in 1944-45. He is one of my dearest friends, more like a big brother, and I love him greatly. Len is going to be 91 years old on September 8.
Leonard Herman is one of the greats of the air war, in my opinion. He was in the original 95th Bomb Group when it formed, and flew the very first mission the 95th flew, early in 1943 when only one in three men completed their tours. In the 95th, it was less than one in three at that point. Leonard flew some of the roughest missions of the war, including the disastrous Kiel mission, which nearly wiped out the 95th Bomb Group, and Schweinfurt, among others. He was wounded and his pilot killed on a mission. While in Europe, he had encounters with Curtis LeMay, Clark Gable, and Glenn Miller.
Leonard's plane, Ten Nights in a Bar Room/The Brass Rail, limps home from Trondheim, Norway, on fire and alone.
After completing his first tour, he was one of the first American flyboys to return to the States, and was part of a Bond Tour, traveling from city to city to drum up support for US Victory Bonds. He then returned to combat, flying as a bombardier on A-26s and B-26s. He flew dangerous low-level ground support missions right up to the last day of the war.
Len's story was so interesting that I decided to help him write his memoirs, in his own words. The result is Combat Bombardier, and the book was published this year. Click here to order a copy from Xlibris, https://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=38755
or here to order a copy from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/COMBAT-BOMBARDIER-LEONARD-HERMAN/dp/1425761313
Thanks to the collector for sending me these priceless photos of Leonard Herman's uniform.