This wartime biography follows the life of a Second World War B-17 bombardier from the beginning of the war to its conclusion. Based on the 150 letters the airman, Fred Lull, wrote home to his mother, much of the horrors of what he experienced off the wing of his plane, aircraft destroyed, dismemberment by flak, go unshared. Fred did not want his mother to worry and could not tell her: `I noticed some movement and a flash of light out of the corner of my right eye. The plane that had been flying right next to us had exploded and simply disappeared.'
Using the bombardier's combat flight record, research data and interviews of former B-17 crew members, the story unfolds, breaking through the barrier of an unwillingness and inability to tell loved ones of the smell and taste of war.