Free Lecture from WWII Pilot Bernard T. Nolan: “The Unfriendly Skies”

Historic Vienna, Inc. will present a lecture by World War II veteran, NASA program manager and author Lt. Col (Ret.) Bernard T. Nolan, on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM in the Council Chamber of Vienna’s Town Hall.  Mr. Nolan is the author of “Isaiah’s Eagles Rising,” relating the journey of one young airman from boyhood to completion of a combat tour with the US Army Air Force’s 8th Bomber Command.  Realism and little known details are provided in his discussion of evolving technology, ever changing tactics, what it is like to be shot down and the comparison of two pivotal aircraft, the B-24 and B-17, both of which Mr. Nolan flew in combat.  The lecture is free and open to the public, refreshments will be served.  This event is free to the public and is a unique chance to hear about the skills required to fly these dangerous missions.  Mr. Nolan will have autographed copies of his book for sale at this event.  A brief question and answer period will follow the talk.   For more information call 703 938 5187.

“My lecture reviews the history of the Eighth Air Force and its role in the air campaign in Western Europe during WW II.  It is the story of a battle lost by the Eighth to the Luftwaffe during 1943 as the result of unacceptable attrition, and how and why the Luftwaffe was in turn beaten by mid 1944.  I focus on the origins of strategic bombing and its objectives, the build-up of the Eighth, the combat environment, survival odds, tactics, formations and how they were assembled and a typical bomb group.  A few personal anecdotes are tossed in.  The lecture is supported by many visual aids including diagrams and photographs – many in color –most of which were obtained from the USAF archives.”   – Bernard Nolan

Book by Bernard T. Nolan

Bernard Nolan’s entire life has been spent in aerospace related activities including 22 years in the USAF as an active pilot. Nolan flew 33 missions in B-24s and B-17s with the 8th Bomber Command in Europe in 1944. Following his combat experiences, he was retrained as a transport pilot and flew North Atlantic and other routes for ten years. Thereafter he held various staff jobs until leaving the Air Force in December 1965 to accept a job with NASA.

Nolan held a Command Pilot rating and the regular rank of Lt. Col. on retirement. His combat decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.

Nolan’s NASA career spanned 15 years with NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC where he worked in various program management assignments. He was the program manager for NASA’s Airborne Geoscience Program and served as program manager for Landsat Operations. Following his “retirement” from NASA in 1981, he worked as an independent consultant to NASA and as a senior engineer for Science Applications International Corporation.

Nolan graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 1959. He is married to the former Sarah (Sunny) Davis of Charleston, South Carolina. The couple has two adult children.

Bernard Nolan is the author of a history book entitled Isaiah’s Eagles Rising and is the co author of the novel Wild Blue Murder.