What Happened To Masters Of The Air’s Airsick Navigator
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What Happened To Masters Of The Air’s Airsick Navigator

This article contains spoilers for Masters of the Air.




  • Major Harry Crosby, the narrator of “Masters of the Air,” stands out due to his unique storyline as a navigator who struggles with airsickness.
  • Crosby’s real-life experience in the 100th Bomb Group involved flying 32 combat missions, acting as Lead Navigator and participating in significant missions like “Blitz Week.”
  • Crosby survives the war, completes his graduate studies, and goes on to teach and contribute to the Air Force Academy, the CIA, local politics, and religion. He also wrote the book that inspired the series, making him the logical choice as the narrator.

Although Masters of the Air follows the many stories of the men in the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 100th Bomb Group, the true narrator of the series is Major Harry Crosby, but how much does the series actually get right about the real man? Masters of the Air is a World War II drama following the true story of the 100th Bomb Group, also known as the “Bloody Hundredth.” The series has a star-studded cast, including Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Barry Keoghan, and Anthony Boyle. The series is produced by Band of Brothers’ Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman.

Despite Masters of the Air’s massive cast of characters, Major Harry Crosby stands out for a few big reasons. First and foremost, Crosby is the narrator of the series. Although he is not the first character introduced, nor is he the character that has the most screentime, Crosby’s voice is the one that carries audiences through the narrative and the world. Furthermore, Crosby stands out right away because of his unique storyline. He is a navigator that struggles with airsickness, which leads him to mess up coordinates, and thus, hurt his own missions.


10 Most Exciting Things To Expect From Masters Of The Air

The latest WWII drama from the creators of Band of Brothers, Masters of the Air, has plenty of reasons for viewers to get excited for its release.

Major Harry Crosby’s Time In The 100th Bomb Group & Army Air Force History

Since Masters of the Air is based on a true story, it should be no surprise that Major Harry Crosby was a real person. In December 1941, soon after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry Herbert Crosby decided to put his graduate studies at the University of Iowa on hold to enlist in United States Army Air Forces. He trained at the Mather Air Force Base in California to become a navigator of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. In May 1943, he and 36 other original “Bloody 100th” combat crews successfully flew into their base, Thorpe Abbotts, in England.

From the spring of 1943 until the war’s end in 1945, Major Harry Crosby flew 32 combat missions.

Though he began as one navigator among many in the 100th, for much of his tenure, Crosby acted as Lead Navigator of the entire squadron.

This meant he led the 100th Bomb Group on countless important missions throughout the war, including dangerous flights to Bremen, the Munster Raid, and Schweinfurt, which resulted in countless airmen being killed or captured by the Germans. Notably, Crosby played a major role in planning out the Eighth Air Force’s routes over France on D-Day.

A final aspect of Crosby’s story in Masters of the Air is his personal relationships. Although Crosby had a wife named Jean waiting for him at home, he also formed an intimate relationship with a British Subaltern named Alessandra Westgate while attending lectures at Oxford. Though Sandra’s own work for the British military was quite mysterious, the two formed a bond due to the shared trauma of fighting in the war. Ultimately, Crosby and Sandra’s relationship fizzled out, but it does play a notable role in Masters of the Air.

What Happened To Harry Crosby After Masters Of The Air

Anthony Boyle as Harry Crosby Masters of the Air episode 7

Ultimately, Crosby survived his time in Europe and returned to Iowa to finish his graduate degree in 1947. He went on to earn his Ph.D at Stanford University in 1953 as well. Following his education, Crosby began teaching English composition and American Literature at his alma mater. After only a few years, Crosby and his family moved to Newton, Massachusetts, where he worked at Boston University. Notably, Crosby and his wife were incredibly active in the lives of his children and the local government. Crosby acted as co-president of each of his childrens’ PTAs.

Major Harry Crosby is played by actor Anthony Boyle in
Masters of the Air.

Although Harry Crosby’s military service only made up three years of his life, his experience stuck with him throughout the rest of his life. Crosby helped in developing the curriculum at the Air Force Academy, and furthermore, took two years off during his tenure at Boston University to act as the Director of Studies at the Pakistan Air Force Academy. He also assisted the CIA for a time in tracking Pakistan’s use of United States military aid and its relationships with other countries. Crosby was also actively anti-Vietnam War.

Why Harry Crosby Narrates Masters Of The Air

Anthony Boyle as Harry Crosby sitting on a car from Masters of the Air

Although Major Harry Crosby was a vital member of the 100th Bomb Group, the main reason why he narrates Masters of the Air is because he wrote the book that the series is based on. Masters of the Air is inspired by Crosby’s 1993 memoir, “A Wing and a Prayer.” In this way, much of what occurs in Masters of the Air comes from Crosby’s perspective, therefore, using his voice makes the most sense. Furthermore, it is logical that the 100th’s Lead Navigator would be the one to tell their story to audiences.

Ultimately, Masters of the Air does justice to Major Harry Crosby’s story by bringing his story to life. While it can be difficult to portray exactly what happened in the past, Masters of the Air does its best by using primary sources and lots of research. In this way, Major Harry Crosby and the rest of the 100th Bomb Group are in good hands when it comes to Masters of the Air.

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