Bookcover: My Darling Boys: A Family at War, 1941-1947

My Darling Boys: A Family at War, 1941-1947

vol. 23: North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

Fred H. Allison — author. 

October, 2023




35 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.




Hardcover, E-Book


About Allison's My Darling Boys

My Darling Boys is the story of a New Mexico farm family whose three sons were sent to fight in World War II. All flew combat aircraft in the Army Air Forces. In 1973 one of the boys, Oscar Allison, a B-24 top turret gunner and flight engineer, wrote a memoir of his World War II experiences. On a mission to Regensburg, Germany, his bomber, ravaged by German fighters, was shot down. He was captured and spent fifteen months in German stalag prisons. His memoir, the core of this unique book, details his training, combat, and prisoner-of-war experience in a truthful, introspective, and compelling manner.

Fred H. Allison, the author and Oscar’s nephew, gained access to family letters that supplement Oscar’s story and bring to light the experiences of Oscar’s brothers. Harold Allison, the author’s father, was sidelined from combat as a bomber copilot due to a health condition. The letters also tell of the brother who did not come home, Wiley Grizzle Jr., a P-51 fighter pilot. Wiley’s last mission brought his squadron of Mustangs into a pitched battle with German fighters bound for the front to attack American troops.

The letters also introduce the boys’ family, who fought the battle of the home front on their farm in New Mexico. Allison reveals the burden home folks bore for their boys in combat and then the emotional trauma from the dreaded War Department letters announcing “missing in action” or “killed in action.” Allison conducted extensive research in the official records and in secondary sources to give context to the memoir and letters. My Darling Boys brings a new and important aspect to personal accounts of World War II combat, giving the reader a unique blend of first-person military action tied to the home front family.

About the Author

FRED H. ALLISON, a retired Marine officer and aviator, served as the US Marine Corps oral historian from 2000 to 2020. He is the editor of My Darling Boys (UNT Press) and We Were Going to Win, or Die There: With the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan by Roy H. Elrod (UNT Press). Allison earned his PhD in military history at Texas Tech University. He lives in Katy, Texas. 

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