Book-In-Focus: Back from 44 – the Sacrifice and Courage of a Few: A Story of Heroism in the Skies ov


Back From 44 - The Sacrifice and Courage of a Few is about one man’s experience of being in the B-26 Marauder during World War II. It also welcomes the readers into the many significant events of his life — enlisting in the army, saying goodbye to his new wife, being sent on deadly missions across Europe, and the pain of losing his closest friends. It recounts Nick Bentas’ time in the U.S. Army Air Force from basic training, to encountering enemy flak, to his final mission.

In 1983, a French man contacted the author, Nick Cressy’s family with information about the permanent memorial where the B-26 bomber crew crashed. This piece of information has led the author to unearth more stories from his own research and interviews about the WWII events involving his uncle, Nick Bentas. This story is told from the perspective of Nick Bentas, and it has taken the author over twenty-five years of immersing himself in the story. He has interviewed Nick Bentas’ best friend as well as other officers and crew veterans who worked alongside him to capture a life lived by a real person in a significant fraction of time not just for Bentas but for the world.

Back From 44 is a historical fiction based on the real-life accounts of those who have lived and fought during WWII. It is a story of courage of the men who did extraordinary things. It also a story of sacrifice, the ones that they have to leave behind and the things they were willing to risk. It is a story of loss in a time and situation where death abounds but none of them less painful to their friends and loved ones. More importantly, it is a story of gain. The heroism of those who put their own safety and lives aside has earned their country the freedom that it is able to enjoy until today.

Back from 44—The Sacrifice and Courage of a Few by Nick Cressy

ISBN 978-1387920945

220 Pages

Reviewed by Vera Hanley

Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Reviews & What Readers Say

" Far less in known of the Marauder and the airmen who flew it, so I was pleased to find this book about the B-26. The military service of Nick Bentas is featured. The operational life in a B-26 bomb group comes to life.One surprising difference from B-17 groups was that most B-26 units didn’t have crews stay together. Instead of forming cohesive teams, the men were regularly assigned to other planes.This book would have benefited from a good editing. There is repetition between the narrative and journal entries. Maybe it was the kindle version I read, but the punctuation was atrocious. It was easy to skim across problems and stay in the story.I thought the book was written by Nick Bentas, as it is told in the first person, and with a kindle, I could not readily check the front cover. It was written by his nephew, Nick Cressy. It is a novelized account based on personal journals, official reports, and insight from Bentas’ friends. The ending was a surprise, thinking it was written by Bentas. Without revealing the outcome, I felt too much may have been assumed about the crew’s state of mind on their last mission.Nevertheless, it is an interesting book and I’m glad I read it. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion."

Always Reading, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase

" Any student of aerial warfare would like this book. Taken from the war diary of Nick Bentas, it creates a vivid picture of the perils and daily grind of air crews on bombers during WW2."

Geoff Lawson, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase

" Any student of aerial warfare would like this book. Taken from the war diary of Nick Bentas, it creates a vivid picture of the perils and daily grind of air crews on bombers during WW2."

Geoff Lawson, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase

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Nick Cressy retired from the US Army as a full Colonel in December 2012 and enjoys World War II history, biking, and traveling locally (in Colorado) to enjoy the scenery and culture. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in business management. Foreign countries visited during his lifetime include Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. His military background began as an enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force trained in aircraft weapons and munitions loading from 1971 to 1975, briefly serving in the Michigan Air National Guard from 1977 to 1978. He received a direct commission in the U.S. Army (Reserve) Medical Service Corps serving from 1991 to his retirement in 2012. During his career, assignments included service in the states of Michigan, North Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Virginia and Hawaii. Military overseas assignments included Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.

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