MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

CLASSIC DISPATCHES HOW IT FEELS TO BOMB GERMANY

When Andy Rooney died in 2011 at age 92, he was probably best known for his folksy, often cranky commentaries for the CBS television program 60 Minutes. (The 1,097th installment of “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” the show’s closing segment, had aired a month earlier.) But Rooney’s debut as a journalist came in 1942, just a year after he was drafted into the U.S. Army for service in World War II, when he signed on as a reporter for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

“They needed reporters and newspaper people,” Rooney recalled in an interview in 2006. “I lied and said I was one and got the job and held on until I learned how to do it. And it was probably the single most fortuitous event in my life because I got to go everywhere. I saw the war like nobody—very few people saw World War II as I did because there was nowhere I couldn’t go.” Soon Rooney would fly on dangerous combat missions with the Eighth Air Force, follow Allied troops ashore at Normandy

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