When Angels Wept: A Life Derailed

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by David R. McCue
Release Date: 8/8/2017
ISBN: 9781942549307              

During World War I, they called it shell shock.  During World War II, they called it battle fatigue.  Today, it is known as post-traumatic stress disorder. All are tidy labels for the destruction of a mind.  When Angels Wept follows the path of an idealistic young airman's experiences and the horrors he encounters during World War II.

Born in Pasadena, California, Rod Hirsh has been raised with the Midwestern values of his Iowa born parents.  He has a respect for life, a belief in the rewards of hard work, and an acceptance of duty.  He loves his mother, respects his father, believes in God, and has an abiding trust in his country.  He grows up as a well-liked, though somewhat shy child, who develops a fascination with flying and dreams of one day becoming a pilot.  With the advent of World War II, he enters the Army Air Force Cadet Pilot Training Program and eventually becomes the captain of a B-17 bomber.

He finds love in a small, rural English village; yet death and destruction are ever-present.  It is in the skies over Europe that the horrors of war begin a relentless invasion of Hirsh's psyche, as his mind battles with the reality of a world that suddenly makes no sense.  As the Midwestern values he has been raised with become compromised, guilt begins to form fissures in his mind.  His respect for life collides with the destruction of a life caused by the bombs he drops.  When his sense of responsibility is devastated by the death of friends and crew members, the mental cracks widen and become hate filled crevices.



David McCue is a native of Southern Californian. Like Rod Hirsch, the hero in his novel, his parents were from Iowa and raised him with Midwestern values. He grew up in Palos Verdes and graduated from California State University Long Beach. He and his wife live in south Orange County and have two sons. David is a WWII and Vietnam War era history buff with a particular interest in military aircraft. When Angel's Wept is his first novel. An avid reader in collage, he has been influenced by John Steinbeck, Pearl S. Buck and later Larry McMurtry, Herman Wouk and Mario Puzo among others.


With When Angels Wept, David McCue gives us a unique perspective on war’s many horrors and a hero unlike any other. McCue’s meticulously-researched novel tells Rod Hirsch’s story and the stories of the ragtag, all too human crew he leads, with insight, compassion, even humor. It’s a great read.
— Toni Press award-winning playwright