Images from the United States Navy Pre-Flight School (University of North Carolina) Photographic Collection #P0027, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Raugh family scrapbooks.
Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Johnny Sain were among a cadre of fighter-pilot cadets who wore the Cloudbuster Nine baseball jersey at an elite Navy training school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a child, Anne Keene's father, Jim Raugh, suited up as the team batboy and mascot. He got to know his baseball heroes personally, watching players hit the road on cramped, tin-can buses, dazzling factory workers, kids, and service members at dozens of games, including a war-bond exhibition with Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium. Jimmy followed his baseball dreams as a college All American but was crushed later in life by a failed major-league bid with the Detroit Tigers. He would have carried this story to his grave had Anne not discovered his scrapbook from a Navy school that shaped America's greatest heroes including Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, Marine and astronaut John Glenn, and Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. With the help of rare images and insights from MLB World War II baseball veterans such as Dr. Bobby Brown and Eddie Robinson, the story of this remarkable team is brought to life for the first time in The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team Who Helped Win World War II.
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