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Hunters In the Fog: War Diary to Screenplay


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In 1944 four American fighter pilots must survive three hundred hours of deadly aerial combat to complete their tour of duty in a P-47 dive bomber squadron in England during World War II.

Boston, MA (PRWEB) February , 2004 -- During WWII author Jim Stallings’ father kept a diary during his 300 combat hours and 81 missions as a decorated P-47 fighter pilot in England. This new book "Hunters In The Fog" celebrates and honors his father and mother’s participation in that difficult time. What they bravely accomplished is simply timeless and echoes universal, archetypal narrative. In the case of Western literature their story is a version of the ancient tale of Ulysses, his survival in the Trojan war, and his difficult “odyssey” to come home again.

The screenplay “Hunters in the Fog” looks into the mysteries of luck and fate in war. Why is it certain pilots, regardless of their refined skills in war, fall victim to death, chopped short in youth? Stallings’ father turns over that question in his diary. He notes the near misses to himself and other pilots, the mysterious accidents, the horror of fiery death and the strange beauty and suspense of aerial warfare. With his advice, and inspired in part by the classic characters of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, this father-son team fashioned a similar set of actors who must survive 300 hours of deadly aerial combat to complete their tour of duty.

“My hands began to sweat,” Jim Stallings said, “while I was transcribing my father’s combat diary. It suddenly hit me looking at his handwritten daily entries. He didn’t know if he’d ever live to write the next day’s mission in this diary. He didn’t know for sure whether he would ever see his recently married wife. And if he hadn’t survived, I wouldn’t be writing this.”

But in fact, while his father did survive as a decorated P-47 dive bomber pilot, and go on to serve a full career reaching into the Viet Nam War, more than 50 pilots in his squadron were lost during his six month combat tour in England. Some survived as P.O.W.’s or were rescued by the Resistance, but many were killed in action.

From this understated diary, Jim Stallings with his father’s expert consultation went on to craft and improvise a riveting screenplay that captures the dramatic highs and lows, on the ground and in deadly aerial combat, that are emblematic of these brave air warriors.

Jim Stallings is an anthropologist, fiction writer, and a senior news editor with Thomson Dialog. He is also the author of Tales for Commuters & Other Time Travelers (stories) and Neon Nirvana (novel). He lives with his wife Laurie, an artist and editor, near Boston.

iUniverse, Inc
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Hunters In the Fog: War Diary to Screenplay
ISBN: 0-595-29841-9 (paper); 0-595-66064-9 (hardcover)
author website at: http://www.jimstallings.com

 


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