The autobiography of C-47 pilot and instructor, First Lieutenant Harry E. Watson, Jr, USAAF.
This is the story of an American C-47 ‘Dakota’ pilot who earned three Air Medals, seven Battle Stars and flew twenty-seven combat missions during the Second World War. As a young U.S. pilot, Harry Watson, arrived in Britain as the Battle of Normandy was reaching its crescendo. Thrown immediately into the fray, Harry, along with more than 200 aircraft, set off to carry supplies to the troops fighting in France. But with visibility reduced to zero, the aircraft were ordered to turn back – all did except Harry, who successfully delivered his life-saving cargo of blood and US Army nurses.
Harry continued to take risks, which resulted in many hair-raising episodes. This included almost being caught on the ground, while on an urgent fuel resupply mission for a platoon of General Patton’s tanks, by a German Mk.IV panzer and a battalion of supporting infantry.
He flew throughout Operation Market Garden, losing a close friend to German anti-aircraft fire while taking some hits to his own plane. Thereafter he led a flight of five transports on a desperate mission to evacuate a mobile field hospital that was about to be over-run by the SS. Only four of the planes made it back as they came under direct fire just before they could take-off with scores of casualties and medical personnel crammed aboard each Dakota.
Around midnight, in early April 1945, he was sent on a secret mission to fly to a point near Nuremberg, which was behind enemy lines at the time. It was necessary for him to locate an empty meadow in the dark, land, load a party of US soldiers and their captives, and then take-off again. He pulled it off. Among those prisoners was Franz von Pappen, the man who had persuaded President Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Von Papen had been seized at his own home by First Lieutenant Thomas McKinley and his men from the US 194th Glider Infantry Regiment.
Based on his own recollections, as told to the author Marcus Nanni, this is Harry Watson’s exciting account of the air war told, unusually, through the words of a transport pilot.
Reviews for the Book
"Midnight Flight to Nuremberg by Marcus A. Nannini begins with a biographical account of Harry E. Watson Jr., which gives readers a chance to understand his character and get to know Harry as a pilot. The story evolves as the story progresses and becomes more interesting as the main character follows through on several tasks and missions, ranging from something as mundane as simple milk deliveries to complex situations where he must learn to fight and defend himself in a war zone. Throughout the book, the writer talks about the happenings during the war that we rarely get the chance to know about. A case in point is the experience of taking home prisoners of war and the lives of loved ones waiting for their beloved soldiers (fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons) to return. In Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, Nannini brings history to life by perfectly narrating the experiences of Harry E. Watson during WWII. The book is brimming with strategically placed black-and-white pictures of First Lieutenant, C-47 Pilot/Instructor Harry, and his comrades, representing their experiences throughout the war. There's nothing more thrilling and exciting than reading about World War II and how it changed the world. However, the part where you read about Harry's involvement in capturing someone as influential and powerful as Franz Von Papen makes for an even more captivating read. The surreal writing style and details made me feel as though I was right next to Harry, and a part of his journey. Midnight Flight to Nuremberg is easily one of Nannini's most well-written and well-researched books; an enthralling rollercoaster ride for history buffs." REVIEWED BY DANIEL RHODES for THE BOOK COMMENTARY Review Date: October 5, 2021 Category: Biographies and Memoirs
About the Author: Marcus Nannini
Marcus A. Nannini
In the sixth grade, Mr. Nannini began his writing career publishing a newspaper. His parents did not have a copier, so he charged 25 cents per school quarter for the privilege of reading the only hand-written copy of each edition. The newspaper was a modest success and planted the seed he might one day make a living through writing.
He was a paid newspaper reporter during his undergraduate years and worked three semesters as the Research Assistant to journalism professor Richard Stocks Carlson, Ph.D. Carlson advised him to write as if his readers have an 8th-grade education or less because he had failed to do so in his only published book, The Benign Humorists, resulting in disappointing sales.
Nannini is a life-long history buff with a particular interest in World War II and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He once discovered an error in his fifth-grade history book concerning the attack, which the publisher subsequently corrected. His first novel, Chameleons, An Untold World War II Story, was well received and awarded “Best Thriller” by International Thriller Writers.
Nannini’s second work, Left for Dead at Nijmegen, the True Story of an American Paratrooper (Casemate Publishers, Oxford, UK, and Philadelphia, PA), received plaudits from around the world, has been placed in the United States National Archives, and was named 2019 Nonfiction Book of the Year. 2020 IAN Best Nonfiction Book of the Year-History Category. Sir Charles, Prince of Wales, owns a copy.
Nannini’s third work, Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, the Capture of the Nazi who put Adolph Hitler into Power, was released in the UK and EU on September 17, 2021, by Pen & Sword Books (Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and Philadelphia, PA) and the USA and Canada in November 2021. On March 7, 2022, Midnight Flight was awarded the Overall Grand Prize for Nonfiction, 2021-2022.
Mr. Nannini also authors stories for Military History Now online magazine, History Magazine, World War II History Magazine, and others. You may contact him here: MarcusNannini@aol.com.
July 2017, Best Thriller Award from ITW, International Thrillers Writers for Chameleons, an untold World War II Story, from ITW.
2017 Winner, Military Book Category, International Book Excellence Awards. Chameleons, an untold World War II Story.
2017, Second Place, Pencraft Awards for Literary Excellence in Fiction.
2019 Nonfiction Book of the Year award from Pencraft Awards for Literary Excellence, Left for Dead at Nijmegen.
2020 Nonfiction Book of the Year-History, from IAN, Independent Authors Association, Left for Dead at Nijmegen.
2021-2022 Overall Grand Prize Winner, nonfiction, from Reader Views Midnight Flight to Nuremberg.
Finalist, The Hearten Book Awards, a genre division of Chanticleer International Book Awards and Novel Competitions (CIBAs). Winner to be announced at the annual convention in late June 2022.
Silver Medalist, 2022 IPPY Book Awards.
Finalist, 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
Finalist, 2022 American BookFest Awards.
The Arizona Authors Association; The Nonfiction Authors Association; Colorado Independent Publishers Association; The Independent Author Network; Poets & Writers; Southern California Writers Association-SCWA; IMDbPro; The Independent Author Network, International Thriller Writers, Inc., the Society of Southwestern Authors, and the National Italian American Foundation.
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