Streamed live on May 9, 2024

Glenn Flickinger leads another conversation about Masters of the Air, this time with children and grandchildren of the Apple TV+ series’ main characters.

Each is an expert on the 100th Bomb Group, and each will share their family members’ stories and their thoughts on the series.

Rebecca Crosby Hutchinson, daughter of Navigator Harry Crosby, Sam Rosenthal, grandson of Pilot Rosie Rosenthal, and Nancy Putnam, daughter of Pilot and POW Gerald Putnam give an inside look at the making of Masters of the Air from viewpoints of three 100th Bomb Group families.

Rebecca was the primary Crosby family source for script writer John Orloff and Executive Producer Kirk Saduski. Along with her siblings, Rebecca visited the set in England, and speaks with knowledge and humor about seeing her father “come to life” years before she was born.

The Crosby family coordinated with Apple and hosted the official January 26 premiere of Masters of the Air in Boston at the historic Coolidge Corner Theater, followed by a terrific entertaining discussion with Kirk, John and actor Anthony Boyle.

Sam’s experiences are equally compelling, and not just as the grandson of Rosie. Sam is a trained actor and had a small role as an airman in Masters – this placed him inside the production at a time, during Covid, where it was a restricted access campus. If you’ve listened to any of the actor interviews about their roles in Masters, they speak of the true bond that formed among the acting corps, very much like the bonds of 100th BG airmen.

Filming ended 2+years ago, and many remain in close touch. Sam was there on set to watch Nate Mann portray his beloved grandfather. While Nancy’s father is not portrayed in Masters, she was involved behind the scenes from early on.

Her father was a 100th BG/349th Sq command pilot and operations officer, shot down leading the 13th CW on March 3, 1944, and a POW at Stalag Luft I. Rosie served in the 100th BG 418th Sq which was the primary squadron focus of Masters.

Gerald Putnam was Rosie’s roommate and close friend all through pilot training (Dec ’41 to Sept ’43). While assigned to four months of gunnery training in Sebring FL, they engaged in the aerial dogfights that Rosie credits with saving him on the Munster mission: when not pulling targets, they could sign out planes and fly.

And fly they did! Think of young men with fast cars, only in the sky. Compare this to Lucky Luckadoo who went from 2-engine training to B-17 combat with no 4-engine phase training whatsoever.

The skeptics who say a B-17 cannot perform maneuvers that Rosie did escaping the German fighters are wrong.

Those aerial combat scenes depicted in Masters are accurate.

Thank you to Tobacco Free Adagio Health and UPMC for Life for sponsoring this event!