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The 464th Bomb Group in WWII - Featured Author

Sharon Sanders, Published Author

P.O. Box 402, Harwich, MA 02645
Ph. 508-432-8537
email: SANDERSMycorona@aol.com

     "Final Mission" is the true story about Rob and Sharon Sander’s five year journey to uncover the mystery of the final resting place of Rob’s uncle who was killed on his 50th and last mission over Vienna, Austria during WWII.
     Beginning with nothing but a faded picture of Uncle Bobby in his flight suit, which bares an uncanny resemblance to Rob, the search led them across seven states and two continents. Over the course of several years, personal interviews with surviving crew members and letters written home from Uncle Bob, assisted them in piecing together the chronology of events that would eventually lead to their goal.      Emphasizing the importance of love, remembrance and the healing needed for families and souls subject to the devastation of war, the reader will share as they find themselves compelled to honor not just one fallen hero, but over four hundred thousand fallen heroes.
     The Cape Cod Times, a local daily newspaper, chronicled their trip to Nuepre, Belgium in May, 2001, as the first family members to ever hold a full military and religious service for one soldier at the Ardennes. Later, the article received two first place awards for best human interest story of the year by the New England Press Associates and the New England Associated Press Newspapers Editors Association.
     It is Rob and Sharon’s greatest hope that "Final Mission" will reach out to as many as possible, bringing forth Uncle Bob’s message to remember the price paid and the sacrifice given, that future generations would live in peace.
     About the Author
     Born in Groton, Massachusetts, Sharon Moved to Cape Cod in 1987 after the birth of her first child. As the proud mother of two sons and a daughter she wrote her first children’s story, ‘The Lonely Little Christmas Tree’ in 1992. Confronted by divorce a few years later, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a registered nurse when she graduated from Cape Cod Community College in 1995. After marrying her second husband, Rob, a firefighter and paramedic, she spent the next few years working toward her goal of becoming a critical care nurse. In 1999, the same year she accepted a position in the emergency room of a local hospital, she ventured with her husband on a life altering quest to uncover the mystery of his uncle’s final resting place. After five years of research and an emotional journey to Belgium, she found herself torn between the career she had worked so hard for and what seemed to be a compulsive desire to tell their story. Eventually, fate stepped in by closing certain doors and opening others allowing her the time to complete their novel. Even though she struggled with the idea of taking on such a tiresome and at times agonizing task she managed to complete what her husband has lovingly referred to as their 'Final Mission'.
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     On August 22, 1944, Robert Wallace Sanders, a 22-year-old staff sergeant and gunner for the 15th Air Force joined his air crew aboard their B-24 liberator on what he had hoped would be his last mission. As the plane lifted into the morning sky, Bob looked back toward the tarmac one last time as it faded off into the distance. He knew that if he were fortunate enough to touch down once again on the heavily padded runway, he would have fulfilled his duty to his country.
     Bob had seen extensive air combat, since he arrived to his airbase in Pantanella, Italy, where he was stationed during WWII. Over four months, he completed and miraculously survived forty-nine grueling missions, flying sometimes back to back, six to eight hours in a day, while penetrating deep into enemy territory.
     The air crew’s goal was to reach their designated target and release 10,000 pounds of explosives onto various oil refineries and factories, destroying the enemies’ ability to make war. Though many of their targets like Ploesti, Vienna, and Kiel, had some of the highest loss rates of bomber crews, Bob, like many others, willingly gave of themselves knowing they would likely have to give the ultimate sacrifice if they were to help free Europe from Nazi oppression.
     Five hours into their flight, the brave crew approached their target over Korenueberg, Austria. The sky was peppered with bursts of thick black smoke as the enemy launched anti aircraft fire, reaching heights of 25,000 feet. The liberator rocked against the thunderous explosions as the pilot and copilot strained to turn the nose into the target.
     The plane shuddered when it took a direct hit to the left engine. Still, the terrified crew managed to maintain control of their aircraft just long enough to release their bombs. Within seconds, the plane flipped over, forcing it to plummet toward the earth, leaving a fiery array of flames trailing behind her. With no time to spare, the crew made a desperate attempt to bail out before it was too late.

     Sharon Sander's book, "Final Mission", became available August 25, 2005. You can order "Final Mission" (ISBN 1420874934) by going to www.authorhouse.com, left click on Book Store, select the search option Author, then type in Sharon Sanders, then select the appropriate market. You will be taken to a Buy webpage where you can purchase the book.
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