On July 14, 1942, Vernon Elder's B-17 Flying Fortress went down near Horn Island off the coast of Australia. Sixty-eight years later, his son, Ken Bledsoe, traveled 10,000 miles in search of the bomber and stories about the father he never really knew.Vernon Elder was only 21 years old when he left his small town in Colorado to join the Army Air Corps in 1939. Like so many young men of his generation, he found his world turned upside down with the start of World War II. Though Vernon survived a plane crash and earned a Silver Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster, he came back from the conflict a changed man. Not until after his death in 1973 did his son, Ken, begin to piece together the details of his father's wartime experience. It all started with a shoebox full of letters and an old scrapbook.This is a loving tribute to a father who was at once a hero and an enigma, a familiar story to many children of the men who fought the world's greatest war. Chock full of pictures, maps, newspaper clippings, and first-person accounts, this book puts us in the middle of combat then takes us along as Ken, so many years later, searches the seas for the wreckage of his father's plane and the event that changed his and his father's lives forever.