A Few Brave Men book

A Few Brave Men


The genesis of A Few Brave Men lies within a screenplay written primarily by Earl W. Green and to a lesser amount myself back in 1984-1986. Earl and I flew out and met with General Lemay to ensure that the text was accurate in its historical representation of the development of strategic bombing prior to and during the Second World War.  Gen. Lemay was instrumental in the development of the tactics that were used by the Army Air Force in Europe and later in the Pacific Theater.  Earl and I worked hard to make sure that everything was in fact accurate; we even secure confirmations in writing from Gen. Lemay himself and from an U.S. Air Force Historian in 1992.

The first area focuses around Gen. Lemay and his efforts in 1935 to 1941 to develop pre-WWII strategic bombing for national defense despite political conflicts against strategic bombers. Before Pearl Harbor he and other Air Corps proponents had a significant battle to get approval and funding for the development and deployment of the B-17 and B-29 bombers. Historically, these parts of the novel are correct. Secondly I created a fictitious character by the name of Bart Coltrane who is a composite of several Americans that went to England in 1939-1941 to fly for the British against Germany. The vast majority of American pilots flew in the RAF Eagle Squadron with some working in other critical aviation roles. I chose to put our fictitious hero into flying special operations behind the lines for the British Special Operations Directorate (SOE).

The Caves cover

The Caves

"The Caves", the sequel to "Grunt Air", begins in Washington, where a radio intercept officer decodes a classified message from the head of the North Vietnam office that controls the captured American and Allied Prisoners of War. The message instructed the camp commanders in Laos to be prepared to execute the POWs on command. This sets the massive military machine into action to find a way to save the POWs. Due to very limited time and internal Pentagon turf wars, normal units could not be used.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was convinced by Brigadier General Herbert to use the unknown Grunt Air unit stationed in the Philippines. The story vividly describes the life and torture of the POW prior to their scheduled execution date. Major Dan Roman, commander of Grunt Air, gets the assignment and launches a very unique and imaginative operation plan to get the prisoners out of Laos before they are killed.

The novel covers the exhaustive intelligence gathering on Laos while the unit trains and prepares for deployment. A few twists occur along the way to make life for Roman a little difficult. It tests his leadership and his resolve in accomplishing the mission before the unspeakable happens to the POWs. Right on schedule the mission launches, but not exactly as planned.

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