THE LITTLE TOY DOG by William L. White


Email this review


It should surprise no one that White has a likely successor to They Were Expendable and this is the timely story of the Strategic Air Command's RB-47 which was downed in the Barenta Sea in July, 1960, by a MIG fighter. The reason: the so-called violation of Soviet air space. Four lives were lost and the two survivors (who gave White much of the material for this book) were promptly imprisoned. An international uproar ensued when the U.S. contended that its plane was on an electromagnetic Arctic patrol and never at any time within 10 miles of Soviet territory, and also that this type of reconnaissance had been openly conducted for ten years; the Russians on the other hand pounded tables at the UN, shouted charges of aggression and provocation. This gives a documentary-styled portrait of the interned Captains Olmstead and McKone, the down-played psychological ordeal they endured, the cat and mouse interrogations by the KGB, the grudging sympathy of the interpreters, the bullying indifference of the guards, the countless and almost childish propaganda attempts to doctor up the airmen's letters home, and the loyalty of the wives. And the diplomatic debacles and olive-branched overtures conclude this true story which is handled with the author's off-hand persuasiveness, telling detail and dramatic punch. The title? This is taken from the good luck charm given by an 11 year old daughter to one of the four men who sank in the ""Barents Sea for Our Country while she was at Peace"". Strong publisher enthusiasm and backing.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1962
Publisher: Dutton