New Book Takes a Personal Look at War and Interconnected Lives
Memoir reveals an intimate glimpse of the impact of WWII and aerial warfare
MCDONOUGH, Ga. – (Release Date TBD) – Within the colossal stage of the Second War, millions of human destinies were inexplicably intertwined and eventually led to the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Author James F. Risher, Jr. gives an inside glimpse of warfare through his book, Particles In A Stream D-Day And After, published posthumously by his sons, James F. Risher III and Joseph K. Risher. This significant and fast moving personal account reveals Risher’s experiences in the United States Strategic bombing campaign as a member of the Eight U.S. Army Air Force in the European theatre of World War II.
This book is more than a combat history—it is a story of impressions and feelings about the stresses upon human beings associated with this form of combat, as they become part of a cohesive aerial combat crew. It tells how men depended on each other to survive combat missions. It reveals the response of individuals to the growing, repeated stress of aerial warfare in a high altitude (4 to 6 miles), sub-zero frigid environment; perform precise technical tasks in confined, unheated spaces, with life maintained by an oxygen tube.
Interwoven with feelings of creeping anticipation, dread, panic, and often boredom of high altitude warfare, Particles In A Stream D-Day And After also presents the humorous side of combat flying and everyday life on the bomber bases in England. The men often relied on humor as the tonic for stress and fatigue. The “particles in a stream” in the title refers to WWII as the war of “small teams”—men of other military branches who no doubt felt the same way the longer they fought together.
James Franklin Risher, Jr., was born on the rural community of Smoaks, South Carolina, on May 8, 1916. He earned a B.A. degree in English from the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, in 1938 and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. He entered the United States Army as an infantry officer, serving with the Thirty-Sixth, Eighty-Fourth, and Fourth Infantry Division. He married Florence “Betty” Kahrs in 1941. In 1943, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force, where he served in World War II as a B-17 Bomber pilot in the Eighth Air Force, 401st Bombardment Group (Heavy), and flew thirty-two combat missions. Upon returning home from combat duties, he served as a radar pilot instructor, an assignment at the Pentagon with U.S. Air Force Headquarters, and the Thirty-Sixth Fighter Wing in Panama and Germany during the Allied occupation. While in Germany, he became the executive officer for the 7499th Composite Squadron. He served another U.S. Air Force Headquarters assignment as head of the manpower statistics office, and from 1954–1958 as professor of air science (ROTC) at North Carolina State University. This was followed by a tour as deputy director of the 6313th Air Base Wing at Kadena, Okinawa, and the air force director of ground safety at Norton Air Force Base, California. His last assignment was with the Aerospace Studies Institute, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Following his military career, Colonel Risher and Mrs. Risher moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked for Coastal States Insurance Company and the Georgia Safety Council for several years. During his military career, Colonel Risher authored several professional studies and articles in air force publications. He is the author of Interview With Honor (Dorrance and Company, 1975), a story of the famous Burr-Hamilton duel. James F. Risher, Jr., died of cancer on July 22, 1986.