I thought this part was especially chilling:
In training, the pilots repeatedly zoomed perilously, heading practically straight down, to practice crashing. They had to reverse course right before hitting the ground and rise back into the sky, a tremendous G-force dragging on their bodies.
When they did it for real, they were instructed to send a final wireless message in Morse code, and keep holding that signal. In the transmission room, they knew the pilot had died when a long beep ended in silence.
The benefit of decades past and being several generations removed from the horror and hatred generated by war makes it much easier for me to appreciate the sacrifice these men made for their country.