My dad, a lifelong pilot and engineer, has written a fine novel of World War II. He grew up during the war and lost an older cousin to flak over France in 1944, so he has a personal attachment to it. He actually wrote the book, titled Ad Astra (from the Kansas state motto), a few years ago, but on the occasion of creating a Kindle version of it, we’re perfecting and adding a bit to it and will be reprinting the paperback later this year. (In conjunction with a Kindle-version update to two of his other books as well.)
When I designed the cover, I needed a shot of a B-17 that wouldn’t present any rights issues for us. I settled on a shot Dad took of Collings’ “Nine-O-Nine” after we flew on her in Denton, TX, back in 2009. She was small enough on the cover that I didn’t worry then about the markings, but I figured that since we’re reprinting it anyway, I’d throw it into Photoshop and transfer our B-17 into the right bomb group.
Here’s the result. They might be too small to tell here (definitely not on the actual book cover), but because of the fanatic for accuracy and detail that I am, I made the serial number 41-2670, one past the last serial number for the 1941 series of B-17Es, and just four removed from ‘666. I also added the nickname—”AD ASTRA”—to the nose.
It’s a little silly how satisfying such things are to me.