Hell's Belle: From a B-17 to Stalag 17B : Based on the Memoirs of William E. Rasmussen
It was December 3, 1943, and American warplanes were on assignment over Nazi Germany. Sergeant William Rasmussen was the ball turret gunner on the Hell's Belle, a B-17 heavy bomber. During one of its missions, the Belle was shot down and the captured American flyers were sent to the notorious German prison camp Stalag 17B. In Stalag the American prisoners of war had to deal with the harsh rules imposed by the German Commandant as well as deplorable living conditions: filth, bitter cold, starvation and disease. Told through the eyes of one young flyer, the book has non-stop action, emotion and humor, and captures the upbeat and undefeatable spirit of America's finest young men who served the United States during WWII. Randall L. Rasmussen, M.D., used his father's memoirs, "From a B-17 to Stalag 17B," as the basis for this book. Dr. Rasmussen also explored William Rasmussen's notes, the verbal history that he recorded at the local library, research material, and recollections of the narratives he heard his father tell so many times over the years. William Rasmussen was a popular guest speaker at press clubs, library clubs and service organizations in Michigan's lower peninsula near his home. His narratives were enjoyed immensely since he had a special gift of being able to captivate audiences as they shared his experiences flying over Nazi Germany and being a prisoner of war.
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