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    Meet the Real-World Airmen Who Became ‘Masters of the Air’

    Meet the Real-World Airmen Who Became ‘Masters of the Air'

    The long-anticipated World War II series “Masters of the ” has finally begun its nine-episode run on Apple TV+. It follows the World War II exploits of the Air Forces' 100th Bombardment Group, American airmen stationed at Royal Air Force Thorpe Abbotts airfield in Britain. The “Bloody Hundredth,” as the 100th Bomb Group came to be called, was known for the heavy casualties it took during bombing runs over Nazi-occupied .

    Like its companion series, “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” it's based on a nonfiction book, author Donald L Miller's “Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi .” The show's ensemble cast is loaded with talented actors portraying real people. One of the biggest issues in a show about pilots and aircrews, as even its producer admits, is that they're usually wearing masks when they're in combat.

    So to clear up who's who and offer a historical perspective on the real-life “Masters of the Air,” here's an introduction to each, without giving too much away.

    Austin Butler as Maj. Gale “Buck” Cleven

    (Apple TV+/U.S. Army)

    Austin Butler (“Elvis,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) headlines the expansive cast as Maj. Gale “Buck” Cleven, who was one of the original members of the 100th Bomb Group. Cleven, along with Maj. John Egan, joined the Army Air Corps in March 1940 as a flight cadet. He shipped out to England in June 1943,…

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