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An American Family in World War II, Recipient of the Silver Medal for Biography from the Military Writers Society of America, Now Available as an eBook

Unique collection of WWII letters brings story of World War II B-17 Pilot to life

ASHBURN, Va., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – An American Family in World War II, a book based on the unique collection of 800 letters exchanged between Captain Ralph Lee Minker and four members of the Minker family, is now available as an eBook.  Sandra O’Connell, Ph.D. (Mrs. Ralph L. Minker), Harry Butowsky, Ph.D., and the late Captain Ralph Minker developed the book using the letters Minker sent home from pilot training and combat along with those from his parents and sisters written during WWII years of 1943-1945.

This unprecedented set of letters between a soldier and his entire family is the only known collection of its kind to survive the war. From basic training, Minker asked his mother to save his letters “as they are taking the place of a diary.” In an unusual move, he shipped the family letters home as he left each base and from combat in England. Minker flew 37 combat missions over Germany and became an official “Lucky Bastard” as one of the youngest command pilots of a B-17 for the Eighth Army Air Force.  The letters reveal how it feels to fly a B-17 and offer rare insight into the experience and thoughts of a World War II pilot and the families who waited at home.

The large box of letters along with a scrapbook of photos was discovered by Captain Minker in the early 1990s and is now part of the permanent collection of the Delaware Historical Society.

Programs, events and honors for An American Family in World War II include: the silver medal for biography from the Military Writers Society of America in 2010; Dr. O’Connell does monthly book signings at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia and the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  Other widely lauded appearances include U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center at the Army War College, Carlisle, PA;  65th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor, U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, Oahu, HI; Yankee Air Museum, Belleville, MI; Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover AFB, Dover, DE; Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, VA; Pritzker Military Library, Chicago, IL; World War II Weekend, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, PA; Delaware Historical Society, Wilmington, DE; and a host of signings and talks including keynote speaker at Fort Meyer Officers Wives Club.

An American Family in World War II, ISBN: 978-1 59571-081-9 may be purchased for $24.95 at and The book is available on Kindle for $9.99 at The authors are available for lectures, speaking engagements, seminars, film consulting and curriculum development. For further information and to contact the authors: or Email.

Agency Contact: Sherry Frazier
Frazier Public Relations
(703) 431-7895 Phone