Is Masters of the Air based on a true story?

Masters of the Air has just gotten started on Apple TV+. It is based on a true story, which is a little bloodier than the show portrays.
Masters of the Air -- Courtesy of Apple TV+
Masters of the Air -- Courtesy of Apple TV+ /

There are many shows and movies set during World War II. Not all of them are based on true events but happen to be set at a time of something major in history. Then there are others that tell dramatized versions of the real stories. Which box does Masters of the Air fit in?

The Apple TV+ series is about the 100th Bombardment Group, also know as the 100th Bomb Group, the Bloody Hundredth, and The 100th. Yes, this is a very real group from World War II, and that probably means it isn’t surprising that the series is based on true events.

Masters of the Air comes from the same people behind Band of Brothers and The Pacific. When you consider that, you also won’t be surprised that the series is based on fact. The other two shows were, too.

The true story behind Masters of the Air

This is set to be a bloody and gory story. However, it’s possible that the show won’t include absolutely everything the group witnessed and went through.

The 100th Bombardment Group was formed in 1942, but the men didn’t start their missions until 1943. They attempted 300 missions, bombing across Germany to help bring an end to the War. There were a lot of lives lost, which gave the group the nickname The Bloody Hundredth.

The characters in the series are based on real people from the War. A lot of the story comes from Harry Herbert Crosby’s memoir A Wing and a Prayer. He was part of the 100th and became a professor after the War. He is portrayed by Anthony Boyle in the series.

Masters of the Air also took some of the information from Donald Miller’s book due to so many of the surviving members of the 100th dying since the events of the War. The only surviving member is John “Lucky” Luckadoo, who turns 102 this year. Miller is a historian who has written about the life and times of the 100th Bombardment Group.

With Band of Brothers and The Pacific, those who were still alive would be able to chat to the producers to share the real events. That isn’t the case with Masters of the Air, but there is a focus on bringing as much reality to the series as possible. This isn’t about dramatizing the story but about reminding us of the true horrors of the War that so many sacrificed their lives in.

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Masters of the Air airs Fridays on Apple TV+.