Avoiding Muddy Foxholes

A Story of an American Bombardier

by Jim Loveless


Book Details

So, you want to be a flyboy…

They say, “War is hell.” It was beyond hell for many who flew in the United States Army Airforce during World War II, especially the Eighth Airforce bomber crews. If you were to ask those who flew bombing missions in the early years of what was known as The Strategic Bombing Campaign, they would say it was unbearable.

With no fighter escort all the way to the target and back, American bomber crews sustained horrific losses. In some cases, whole squadrons were lost. For every B-17 and B-24 downed, ten crew members went with it. To make matters even worse, the daylight strategic bombing effort the U.S. was waging did little to halt war production the Germans were generating.

So why would a young man with a bright future as an electrician and dating the girl of his dreams who he had plans to marry want to join the Airforce and be subjected to such conditions? Not knowing any better and in the mind of Dick Loveless, it seemed to be better than the infantry. As he so eloquently put it when asked by his recruiter why he wanted to become a flyboy, he said, “I’m not fond of muddy foxholes, and I hate cold K-rations.”

Thus, the adventure began for Dick. From boot camp and flight school to flying bombing missions over Germany for the 388th Bombardment Group, things never got easier. It was not until his sixth mission over Stuttgart, Germany, that Dick’s strength, courage, and faith were put to the ultimate test. No training could have prepared him for what lay ahead. Fifty years after, Dick’s oldest son finally made good on a promise he made his dad to write his remarkable story. “Avoiding Muddy Foxholes” is that story.


About the Author

Jim Loveless

Born in Washington, DC, in October 1954, Jim Loveless grew up in suburban Maryland. As a boy, he was taken in by his father’s experience in the United States Airforce during World War II. Learning as much as he could about the plane and the Airforce his dad flew in, friends of Jim’s father were amazed at how much he knew about the B-17 bomber and the Eighth Airforce. Even though his career had been in electrical contracting, Jim loved writing. If something piqued his interest, he wrote about it. A friend once joked, “If I could steal anyone’s laptop, it would be Jim’s just so I could read all the adventures he’s written about.” Before his retirement, Jim’s first real challenge as a writer came when he started writing a column about his dog in his dog club’s newsletter. It was called “Brooks World” and was written as the dogs told their story. It was a big hit and led to his first published book and audiobook, “Big Paws, Bigger Heart, a Dogs Memoir.” After fifty years as a third-generation Loveless in the electrical contracting business, Jim retired, ending a one-hundred-year family presence in the industry. Still, the one thing he never gave up on was his interest in his father’s adventures during the war. Jim was very proud of what his father did and could spend countless hours talking about it to anyone willing to listen. He has done extensive research and has a wide-ranging library about the air war in Europe during World War II. Though people loved his work, a much bigger task lay ahead, writing his father’s story, which he had wanted to do for what seemed to be forever. The day after he retired, work started in earnest, and two and a half years later, his labor of love was finally complete.

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