World War II remains one of the most significant and pivotal events in modern history, a period that continues to capture the imagination of filmmakers, historians, and audiences alike.
“Masters of the Air” is an eagerly anticipated miniseries set to revisit this era, shedding light on the remarkable and harrowing stories of the Eighth Air Force, and it's set to star Austin Butler.
In this article, we'll delve into the true story behind “Masters of the Air,” offering a glimpse into the historical context and the experiences of the heroic airmen who served during the Second World War.
What is Masters of the Air About?
Cary Joji Fukunaga, famed for directing the first season of True Detective, the military drama Beasts of No Nation, and the most recent James Bond film, No Time to Die, helmed the first three episodes of Masters of the Air. John Orloff, who worked on Band of Brothers as a writer, adapted the story for television.
Masters of the Air tells the story of the young men who served in the US Eighth Air Force's 100th Bomb Group (called the “Bloody Hundredth”) during WWII and how they played an important role in defeating Hitler despite the incredibly difficult conditions they encountered.
These “bomber boys” were tasked with accomplishing something unprecedented: fighting a battle at 25,000 feet, where frigid temperatures and a scarcity of oxygen made every minute very risky.
According to Apple TV, the series will focus on “the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler's Third Reich” as well as the physical danger. Some of the airmen were shot down, arrested, and imprisoned, while others were injured or killed.
Is Masters of the Air Based on a True Story?
Yes. Masters of the Air is based on the true story of the Eighth Air Force, with each main character modeled after a real-life member of the 100th Bombardment Group.
Masters of the Air is based on Donald L. Miller's nonfiction book Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. Miller's 2006 book is made up of interviews, oral histories, and archives from the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, all of which come together to tell the narrative of the Eighth Air Force, a squad of American bomber lads who “brought the war to Hitler's doorstep,” according to the book's synopsis.
While the plot may appear to be something out of a movie, it is really based on a genuine story, which includes Austin Butler's character Major Gale Cleven.
According to the book, the Eighth Air Force lost more troops in the conflict than the United States Marine Corps. This was mostly owing to the intense nature of combat from 25,000 feet in the air, with occasional but harsh intervals of head-on attack.
Read More: Is 80 For Brady Based On a True Story?
The war would not have been won without the brave efforts of the bomber lads. The supplies that drove the German war machine would have gone rampant if it hadn't been destroyed by American and British air power. In actuality, the victory was a collaborative effort: American bombers attacked during the day, while British bombers attacked at night, aided by the cover of darkness.