Wreaking Havoc: A Year in an A-20 (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series #91) (Paperback)

Wreaking Havoc: A Year in an A-20 (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series #91) By Joseph W. Rutter Cover Image
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“Life,” writes Joseph Rutter, “was all fun and games with very expensive toys during those bright June days in 1944.” Rutter was a pilot in the Army Air Force, and the expensive toys were airplanes—A-20s. He had just completed replacement crew training at Charlotte, North Carolina, and shortly thereafter he was flying with the 312th Bomb Group from Hollandia, New Guinea, over Japanese targets and across “unexplored” areas, and life became more serious.
Wreaking Havoc: A Year in an A-20 tells the story of Rutter and his friends at a time when the horrors of war were matched by the energy and enthusiasm of youth. In the same innocent and understated tones, Rutter relates hijinks and daredevilry, his training stateside, his first mission, large-scale raids on the Philippines and Formosa, routine low-level attacks on Japanese positions, crashes, mishaps, and the deaths of friends. With a wonderful eye for detail, Rutter gives the reader a glimpse into not only the air war in the Pacific but also the culture of the 1940s and the minds of the young men who found themselves far from home on the front lines.
In Rutter’s story of war, the A-20 is as much a protagonist as the author. If the aircraft emerges as a pilot’s plane—a joy to fly—it could also be a temperamental machine whose landing gear might collapse, whose hydraulic system might fail, and whose controls might suddenly malfunction. Rutter and the men who crewed them are quiet heroes whose approach to war combines the nonchalance of youth and the seriousness of men who have come close enough to death to take life seriously.
From the pages of his memoir, Rutter speaks to those interested in aviation, World War II, and the coming of age of a young man.

About the Author

Joseph Rutter served with the 312th Bomb Group in the Southwest Pacific and completed sixty-three missions over New Guinea and the Philippines. He is a graduate of Marietta College and after a career in the insurance industry retired to Marietta, Ohio.

Praise For…

“. . . a fascinating tale, well written and one which ought to catch the recently renewed interest in WW II operations. If my reaction to Rutter’s personality is typical of what to expect of other readers, this should prove to be a popular book. This young man gives the impression of being a thoroughly decent human being, a conscientious officer, and a fine professional. I would be glad to have him in my command.”--I. B. Holley, Jr., Duke University
— I. B. Holley, Jr., Duke University

“Over 140 million Americans lived through World War II but only a tiny percentage of them were sent to the front lines. These young men visited Europe and Asia but it was hardly the Grand Tour experienced by earlier generations. It was definitely not a rich man’s jaunt. Many would never return. Some were small town boys who never expect to become warriors. The story of one such veteran is recounted in Wreaking Havoc. Lieutenant Rutter’s story is the real stuff of history. It is the story of every man that speaks in a modest yet powerful way about war, death, and heroism.” --John H. White Jr. History Department Miami University Oxford, OH
— John H. White Jr. History Department Miami University Oxford, OH

“Joe Rutter has given a riveting account of his coming-of-age piloting a Douglas A-20 light bomber in the South Pacific during World War Two. His dramatic portrayal of aerial combat against the Japanese is captivating. Veterans will empathize with his descriptions of the ups and downs of military life between missions when a twenty-year-old is far from home in wartime.” --Gifford B. Doxsee, Professor Emeritus of History, Ohio University, Athens
— Gifford B. Doxsee, Professor Emeritus of History, Ohio University, Athens

“An in-depth recounting of the horrors of war and the singular experience of piloting airborne destruction for the sake of one’s country, Wreaking Havoc is a riveting testimony and a highly recommended addition to World War II and military aviation studies reading lists and reference collections.”--The Bookwatch
— The Bookwatch

“. . . an engaging account . . . exactly the type of memoir historians will value . . . This is a superb book and credit is due to Rutter and Texas A&M University Press for such an excellent job.” --Military History of the West
— Military History of the West

Product Details
ISBN: 9781603447379
ISBN-10: 1603447377
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication Date: August 13th, 2012
Pages: 280
Language: English
Series: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series