• Jay Zeamer, the Eager Beavers, and Old 666 - The Definitive Resource

    From Scott M. Kozel@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 10 22:43:39 2016
    Jay Zeamer, the Eager Beavers, and Old 666 - The Definitive Resource http://zeamerseagerbeavers.com/
    By Clint Hayes


    "Lt. Col. Jay Zeamer and his crew, the Eager Beavers, were
    a B-17 bomber crew stationed in Australia and New Guinea in
    1942-43. So named for Zeamer's constant volunteering for
    missions, they served during the crucial early period in the
    war in the southwest Pacific, defending Australia from
    invasion by the Japanese before pivoting to take the
    offensive against Japan.

    They are the most highly decorated air crew in American

    This website is the outgrowth of over twenty years of
    research for a feature film screenplay I've completed
    and a forthcoming novel adaptation of that screenplay.
    Its aim is to provide the most comprehensive,
    authoritative resource online about this singular crew.

    Many mistakes and myths created in early accounts of
    the Eager Beavers have been passed down over the
    decades. This site corrects the record to create a
    more accurate portrait of Zeamer's crew and their

    Q: Were the crew members a bunch of "misfits,"
    "renegades," "cast-offs," and "screw-offs"?
    A: Unequivocally no. This is the most enduring and
    pernicious myth of the entire story. If anything,
    Jay's crew members were quite the opposite.

    Finding its most recent manifestation in Bob Drury
    and Tom Clavin's Lucky 666, the characterization
    originally comes from "Mission Over Buka," the
    first chapter of Martin Caidin's _Flying Forts:
    The B-17 in World War II_. Caidin quotes extensively
    from Walter Krell, a good friend of Zeamer's dating
    back to their flight school days in Glenview, IL."

    SMK: I read that _Flying Forts_ account back in the
    1970s. Sounds like Caidin has been criticized for a
    whole bunch of myths and tales in his books.

    Interestingly, he came and spoke at an assembly at
    my junior high back in the late 1960s, to speak
    about his WWII historical work.

    Clint Hayes' website also criticizes a book that was
    just published about Jay Zeamer's crew and missions.

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