Review by: Bob Steinberg on January 1, 2012: *****
The sudden loss of a father at a very young age – less than 2 years old, is one thing … but coping with a mother who permanently loses her spirit, is another. In particular, at the time of the 33 year old fighter pilot’s death, a very pregnant mother was not just bearing unimaginable grief, but she was also bearing her second son, a son who was born exactly one day after the sudden death of her husband. A death shrouded in mystery from an unlikely explosion during a test flight of a B50 bomber.
At less than 2 years old, Timothy Smith may have been chronologically too young to grasp the magnitude of the fast folding life-changing events, but psychologically he was so deeply affected, that many years later, it became a life-long quest to unravel the mystery that was clouded in government secrecy.
While coping with the many challenges of his painful upbringing, he began to dig into the scarce facts that the Air Force released concerning the death of his WWII Veteran B17 Fighter Pilot father. He also solicited his younger brother to join him in the quest to find out the truth – for there were rumors that pointed to very different circumstances to that of the government’s official report. Yet the more they searched, the more contradictions they found.
“Finding Fred” is a poignant accounting of the complexities of searching for the truth behind the loss of a dearly loved father, against the backdrop of the unresolved grief of a mother who had very little left to provide proper emotional support or to nourish her two young children. Yet these same two children, as they become adults, needed to find resolution – and it certainly was not forthcoming from the military bureaucracy. So, they were on their own – to follow their hearts, their minds and their instincts … to uncover the truth, however difficult it may be.
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)