Special Features

This is the official Special Features Website for my new  book titled The Last Flight of the Daisy Mae: A Story of Heroism and Hope at 17, 000 Feet by Wayne F. Perkins.

The Daisy Mae is the hero on the sand on July 24, 1943
The Daisy Mae as she miraculously stopped just short of the shark infested waters. Marines and sailors are counting more than 800 bullet and cannon holes. This is the Eastern Island of Midway on July 24,1943

This is a book about heroism and hope at 17,000 feet. You will find that the heroism and hope was paid forward by these 11 brave men representing thousands of descendants who have never read or heard the story. The book is based on a true story of a little publicized bombing mission over Wake Island on July 24, 1943 during the darkest hours of World War II.

The website is an ongoing project and features a blog where you can ask questions or contribute stories about the time period or about your relatives who served in the 42nd Squadron 11th Bomb Group of the United States  Army Air Force during World War II.

Other features include the back story of Wake Island and Midway Island as well as features about the B-24 Liberator Bomber used in this mission.

I hope you enjoy your ride with the  eleven heroes and their Alamo in  the Sky back in July of 1943.  I also hope you are able to discover another secret hero who helps the men find their way through the stormy skies of World War II.

This book is one of history written in a narrative non-fiction style to provide you with a look at what these men faced and why they kept the adventure from their families for over a half century after World War II was over.

If these men were still alive today they would love to take you on a flight.  Consider yourself one of the crew as we all fly together on the greatest bomber that ever served our country, the Daisy Mae.


Wayne Francis Perkins

Author Wayne Francis Perkins standing beside the house Fran Perkins built by himself many years after the Last Flight of the Daisy Mae


19 thoughts on “Special Features”

  1. I have my dad’s notes on the 30 missions he made over Germany during WWII . He was a tail gunner on a B-17 based in England and flew 30 missions over Germany and I have all the handwritten notes on each mission. He has a plaque for being a member of The Lucky Bastard Club since he survived all the missions. These notes are very interesting.

    Happy to hear you wrote a book so these memories don’t die. I will have to read it.

    Kathy Ebel
    Class of 65″ Dundee High School
    Carpentersville, Il

    1. Kathy,

      I would love to read your notes. If you want to post any scans or pictures, you are welcome, or just want to discuss them with me that would be great. My Dad’s brother Robert Perkins was a Top-turret gunner and Assistant Flight Engineer on a B-17 called “Hell and High Water” He died in a massive raid over Berlin on March 6, 1944. My Dad said Bob was a wonderful man and of course an Uncle I never met. I am going to find a suitable place to feature him on this website once I finish my book. Robert Perkins or Uncle Bob is buried at the Eight Air Force section in a cemetery in Belgium.

      I remember you well, Kathy. I am so glad my classmates are just a few keystrokes away.

  2. Just finished your book about the Daisy Mae. My Dad was a Nav with the 448thBG, 714BS stationed at Seething, England from Aug 44 to April 45. Reading this story about a B24 helped me fly along with my Dad.

    1. Richard, I am so honored you read my book. As you can determine from reading the book, I am very fond of the Navigators. My Father as you know fought in the Pacific, and his Brother Robert Perkins was a top turret gunner and assistant flight engineer, on a B-17. The ship was called “Hell and High Water and the ship went down over Berlin, on March 6, 1944. The Eighth Air Force called that day, “Black Tuesday.” My Dad was very close to his brother. The last time he saw Bob was in November 1944 when Fran was the gunnery instructor in Mississippi. Robert is buried at the American Air Force cemetery in Belgium. The oldest brother James, “Jim” Perkins was with Patton’s army as they rescued the surrounded 101st Airborne, “the Battling Bastards of Bastogne,” during the Battle of the Bulge.” I will be posting many more pictures and videos soon. I appreciate your Dad’s service. We will always be friends. I can feel the 11 heroes of the Daisy Mae are riding with you Dad right now and saluting his son…Cheers…Wayne F. Perkins/Author

  3. Enjoyed the book immensely. May I suggest that you put the illustrations onto this site in a larger size than the postage stamp size that they show up on the Kindle? We all would like to get a better look at them!

    1. Greg,

      Thank you for your reply. I don’t know what version of Kindle you have, but with some with the touch screen set up, you can tap on the picture and it will fill the screen. Also you can read the book on several devices at the same time. So you can see it on a desk top or laptop. Let me know what kind of Kindle you have and I will find out and get back to you.

      Also, I am going to upload those pictures and more to this website over the weekend.

      Thank you again for reading the book

      Wayne Francis Perkins /Author

  4. Wayne, I just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoyed your book. I was not born when WWII began, I came a few years later however I have the up most respect for that generation . I am personal friends with most of the members of the Band of Brothers 101 AB 506 PRO or what’s left of them and have read hundreds of WWII books. I began yours and would have to say I could not put it down. Your father was a special person and am sure he is smiling down from Heaven with all his mates and bragging about your book being so proud of you. THANKS AGAIN for a wonderful story Ron

    1. Ron,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. The week before my Dad died, his mind was with this men from the Daisy Mae. He was unconscious in the hospital and sometimes I would hear him yell out, “Water Conley, Water.” You and I both know what that means now, right Ron?” But at the time, the nurse would hear Fran yell that out and try to give him water, but he was still asleep so he wouldn’t let her. Instead of being sad as I knew my Dad would die at any minute, his “Water, Conley Water,” phrase told me that he was now with his mates in heaven. That confrontation with the nurse, helped inspire me to write the book. I know his mates are with him and are saluting you right now; not as the old men in their declining years, but as the young men they were on July 24th 1943, getting ready for their final battle, together. I can see Van Horn, looking down out his window over the image of Daisy Mae, saying, “Six good turns, Ron Smith, six good turns.”…

  5. I have just read your book and found it very moving. I am British and untill your book only really knew of the 8th USAAF. I was born just after WW2 both my parents served, my mother in the RAF and my father in the army. I served in the RAF reserve at the end on the Cold War. I have recently moved to north Norfolk in East Anglia which during the war was known as little America because of the B17 and B47 bases here. Near to where I live are the remains of a Second Air Division USAAF combined gunnery training school. Single 50 cal mounts are stil in position and the target tracks are still place. I often walk my dogs there, strangely when reading about your your father at gunnery school one of my dogs started digging in a fresh molehill close to the range backstop bank. She uncovered a .50 cal blue tipped incendiary spent round. Never found one before. Would like to think that the gunner who discharged this round probably in 1944 was a pupil of your father in Missouri. He must have flown B24s as they were the mainstay on the Norfolk based 8 th airforce. Thank a for a great book.

    1. Roger,

      Thank you so much for your story. I would like to think your dog was telling you and I something.
      I offer another story as well. My Father taught gunnery school as you know for about 2 years down in Mississippi. During that time, his older brother Robert Perkins was heading overseas and visited my Dad. Robert, (Bob) was a very supportive and positive guy.
      He was based in England with the Mighty Eighth, and went on many mission on a B-17 called “Hell and High Water” Bob was a top turret gunner and assistant flight engineer, just like Thomas Wyckoff on the Daisy Mae. On March 6, 1944 Bob’s plane was hit over Berlin by flak and Robert Perkins and the tail gunner didn’t make it out of the bomber alive. Both the tail gunner and my Uncle Bob, who I never met, are buried in the Eighth Air Force cemetery in Belgium. The remaining crew stayed in a Luftwaffe Prison in Berlin until the War ended.
      I wonder if Robert Perkins was giving you a shout out as well?
      God and your Dog only know!

      I will send you a picture of Bob and his crew to your email address.

      Thank you again, Roger for making my day!

      Wayne F. Perkins, author

  6. Wayne
    Thanks for your response and crew picture. Uncle Bob must have been based at Bassingbourne in Cambridgeshire which is about 40 miles from me. Unfortunately the base is still occupied by the British army as a training centre. Until recently there was a museum in the old control tower but at the moment it’s closed.
    Once it reopens I will go visit.
    Also I am a volunteer guide at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum based at Norwich Airport which was home to the Liberators of the 485th Bombardment Group in 1944/5. We have a lot of memorabilia including a renovated B24 front turret albeit with dummy .50s.
    Thanks again for the picture

    1. Roger,

      Thank you again, Being only 40 miles away, it is possible the gunners at Bassingbourne could have used the range for practice or certification. In any case, you have a very perceptive dog!

      Thank you again


  7. Wayne
    I have e mailed a couple of pictures taken today at the gunnery range which may be of interest to you

  8. Wayne, what a great story you have shared with us. WWII American hero’s for sure. I was also in the army in the 60’s. War is hell but it does bring out the best in all of us.

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A Story of Heroism and Hope at 17,000 Feet