Planes on the ground, being readied for the fight. Others in mid-battle, soaring above smoke-and-fire filled targets or engaging in skirmishes with nearby enemy pilots. And still more, returning from the fray, their crews blessedly still alive. 75 breathtaking paintings capture in vivid detail the drama and action of air combat in World War II--the war that launched a new era in military history with its strategic use of bombers. The contributors include many of today's most noted historical artists, including Robert Bailey, Stan Stokes, Robert Taylor, Roy Grinnell, and Jim Dietz. Extensive captions offer insight into each scene, with information on the pilot, crew, and unit, while archival photographs of these brave soldiers of the air breathe life into each scene--Publisher.
Aviation Art of World War II
Author: G. E. Patrick Murray
Publisher: Friedman/Fairfax Pub
The true story of a little-known, yet remarkable World War II operation, which had all the hallmarks of a suicide mission. Beginning with a crazy plan hatched by a suspect prince, and an even crazier reliance on the word of the Nazis, Operation Chowhound was devised. Between May 1 and May 8, 1945, 2,268 military units flown by the USAAF, dropped food to 3.5 million starving Dutch civilians in German-occupied Holland. It took raw courage to fly on Operation Chowhound, as American aircrews never knew when the German AAA might open fire on them or if Luftwaffe fighters might jump them. Flying at 400 feet, barely above the tree tops, with guns pointed directly at them, they would have no chance to bail out if their B-17s were hit—and yet, over eight days, 120,000 German troops kept their word, and never fired on the American bombers. As they flew, grateful Dutch civilians spelled out "Thanks Boys" in the tulip fields below. Many Americans who flew in Operation Chowhound would claim it was the best thing they did in the war. In this gripping narrative, author Stephen Dando-Collins takes the reader into the rooms where Operation Chowhound was born, into the aircraft flying the mission, and onto the ground in the Netherlands with the civilians who so desperately needed help. James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, as well as Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill all play a part in this story, creating a compelling, narrative read.
The Most Risky, Most Glorious US Bomber Mission of WWII
Author: Stephen Dando-Collins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Famous Bomber Missions of World War II
Author: Robert Jackson
Category: Aeronautics, Military
This is the poignant and exciting story of a statistical anomaly, a B-24 bomber crew that completed 50 combat missions in World War II. This crew was part of the famous 450th Bomb Group, which was nicknamed the “Cottontails” because of their white rudders. As part of the 15th Army Air Force, they flew strategic bombing missions out of Manduria, Italy (in the heel of the boot) and struck strategic targets which were out of the reach of the 8th Army Air Force bases in England. The group lost 1,505 airmen in only a year and a half—the equivalent of losing their effective flying strength three times over. The book’s title comes from the crew’s bomber, Shadow, which in turn was named for the pilot’s black cocker spaniel that flew with them on training missions. Based on interviews with the surviving crewmembers and their families as well as extant archival source material, the book details the childhood, training and post-war life of each of its 13 principal characters. Chapter One is a discussion of each man’s boyhood years and Chapter Two provides details of the training that each received. In Chapter Three, the original crew of ten (Crew #4-N-33) was formed in Clovis, New Mexico. An assignment for training in Clovis and in B-24s meant that the crew had been designated for heavy bombardment. Chapter Four includes a description of the four main objectives for the crew, one of which was to participate in POINTBLANK, the Combined Bomber Offensive, which called for the destruction of German fighter aircraft plants, ball bearing plants, oil refineries, rubber plants, munitions factories, sub pens and bases. Details of the structural components of most missions are provided in Chapter Five. The crew completes its first missions in Chapter Six. In Chapter Seven, “Shadow” completes its last after taking enemy fire, and Chapter Eight introduces a new plane, Sleepy Time Gal. The book’s Epilogue contains information about the post-war lives of the crew.
A Cottontail Bomber Crew in World War II
Author: Neil Hunter Raiford
"The riveting true story of a World War II bomber pilot and the co-pilot who received orders to kill him...After the twists and turns in Goering's many missions, Frater finishes with a stunning revelation...the author delivers an exciting read full of little-known facts about the war. A WWII thrill ride." ?Kirkus Reviews An unforgettable and thrilling tale of two WWII American bomber pilots who forged an unexpected friendship in the flak-filled skies over Nazi Germany. The air battle over Nazi Germany in WWII was hell above earth. It lasted three years and cost 125,000 Allied aircrew men, including 26,000 Americans from the US Army's Eighth Air Force in England, their lives. For bomber crews, every day they flew was like D-Day, exacting tremendous amounts of emotional uncertainty and trauma. Some men, like twenty-year-old U.S. Captain Werner Goering, accepted this, even thrived on and welcomed the adrenaline rush. They knew that death could come in a variety of ways: an unlucky flak burst, Luftwaffe fighters that could appear anywhere at any time, or pilot error while flying less than twenty feet apart. Werner Goering was an exceptional pilot. He was also the nephew of Herman Goering, leading member of the Nazi party and Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe. When Werner qualified to become a bomber commander in 1942, J. Edgar Hoover issued a top secret order to ensure that if his plane was downed for any reason over Nazi-occupied Europe, someone would be there in the cockpit to shoot Captain Werner Goering dead. The FBI and the American military would not prevent Werner from serving his American homeland in war, but neither would they risk the propaganda coup that his desertion, or even his live capture, would represent for Nazi Germany. So in early 1943, FBI agents fanned out across the United States to find a man capable of and willing to shoot Werner dead in the cockpit, and one who could then get the plane back home. They found Jack Rencher, a tough, insular, B-17 instructor in Yuma, Arizona, who also happened to be one of the Army's best pistol shots. That Jack and Werner became unlikely friends is just one more twist in Hell Above Earth, one of the most incredible untold tales to come out of WWII.
The Incredible True Story of an American WWII Bomber Commander and the Copilot Ordered to Kill Him
Author: Stephen Frater
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Dispatched on what was to be an easy assignment of attacking the Privoser Oil Refinery and associated railroad yards at Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, the 20th Squadron of the 2nd Bombardment Group saw the bloodiest day in their history. Not a single one of the 20th Squadron's B-17 bombers returned from the mission. In this book, the 90 airmen on that mission provide a remarkable personal window into the Allies' Combined Bomber Offensive at its height during World War II. Their stories encapsulate how the U.S. Army Air Force built, trained, and employed one of the mightiest war machines ever seen. These stories also illustrate, however, the terrible cost in lives demanded by that same machine.
The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944
Author: James L. Noles
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Examines the role of aviation during World War II, describing battles in both the European and Pacific theaters of war and highlighting technological development and special achievements
Author: Bernard C. Nalty
“A fast-paced, well-researched…irresistible” (USA TODAY) World War II aviation account of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice that reads like Unbroken meets The Dirty Dozen from the authors of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Heart of Everything That Is. It’s 1942, just after the blow to Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and the United States is reeling. A group of raw US Army Airmen travels to the embattled American Air Base of Port Moresby at Papua, New Guinea. Their mission: to protect Australia, to disrupt the Japanese supply lines, and to fly perilous reconnaissance runs over the enemy-held strongholds. Among the men are pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and bombardier Sergeant Raymond Joseph “Joe” Sarnoski, a pair of swashbuckling screw-ups whose antics prevent them from being assigned to a regular bombing crew. Instead, they rebuild a broken-down B-17 bomber from spare parts and christen the plane Old 666. One day in June 1943, a request is circulated: volunteers are needed for a reconnaissance flight into the heart of the Japanese empire. Zeamer and Sarnoski see it as a shot at redemption and cobble together a crew and depart in Old 666 under cover of darkness. Five hours later, dozens of Japanese Zeros riddle the plane with bullets. Bloody and half-conscious, Zeamer and Sarnoski keep the plane in the air, winning what will go down as the longest dogfight in history and maneuvering an emergency landing in the jungle. Only one of them will make it home alive. With unprecedented access to the Old 666 crew’s family and letters, as well as newly released transcripts from the Imperial Air Force’s official accounts of the battle, Lucky 666 is perhaps the last untold “great war story” (Kirkus Reviews) from the war in the Pacific. It’s an unforgettable tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice—and “highly recommended for WWII and aviation history buffs alike” (BookPage).
The Impossible Mission
Author: Bob Drury,Tom Clavin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Author: Mike Sharpe,Michael Sharpe
Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (CA)
The riveting firsthand account of World War II pilot Robert Morgan, his crew, and the legendary Memphis Belle—written with Ron Powers, cowriter of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers. A powerful chronicle of loyalty, love, and heroism under fire, this is the unforgettable memoir of a member of the Greatest Generation who fought in America’s greatest battles—and of the war one man waged both in and out of the skies. High-spirited, young Robert Morgan was transformed from a fast-living, privileged playboy who grew up hobnobbing with the Vanderbilts into a steel-nerved pilot forged in the cauldron of World War II’s most dangerous and desperate aerial encounters. This is the triumphant tale of that transformation—and of the airplane and crew that never failed to bring him back home.
Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot
Author: Robert Morgan,Ron Powers
Bombs Away! covers strategic bombing in Europe during World War II, that is, all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature which took place between 1939 and 1945. In addition to American (U.S. Army Air Forces) and British (RAF Bomber Command) strategic aerial campaigns against Germany, this book covers German use of strategic bombing during the Nazi’s conquest of Europe: the Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, and the V 1 and V 2, where the Luftwaffe targeted Warsaw and Rotterdam (known as the Rotterdam Blitz). In addition, the book covers the blitzes against London and the bombing of other British industrial and port cities, such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Southampton, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, and Coventry bombed during the Battle of Britain. The twin Allied campaigns against Germany—the USAAF by day, the RAF by night—built up into massive bombing of German industrial areas, notably the Ruhr, followed by attacks directly on cities such as Hamburg, Kassel, Pforzheim, Mainz, Cologne, Bremen, Essen, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Dortmund, Frankfurt, and the still controversial fire-bombing of Hamburg and Dresden. In addition to obvious targets like aircraft and tank manufacturers, ball bearing factories and plants that manufactured abrasives and grinding wheels were high priority targets. Petroleum refineries were a key target with USAAF aircraft based in North Africa and later Italy, bombing the massive refinery complexes in and around Ploesti, Romania, until August 1944 when the Soviet Red Army captured the area. Other missions included industrial targets in southern Germany like Regensburg and Schweinfurt. Missions to the Nazi capital, Berlin, started in 1940 and continued through March 1945. Throughout the war there were 314 air raids on Berlin. All of this is covered in detail with authoritative text and hundreds of archival photographs, many rare or never before published.
The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe
Author: John R. Bruning
Publisher: Zenith Press
The Spitfire and the Lancaster were the two RAF weapons of victory in the Second World War, but the glamour of the fighter has tended to overshadow the performance of the heavy bomber. Yet without the Lancaster, Britain would never have been able to take the fight to the German homeland. Highlights the scale of the bomber?s achievements, including the famous Dambusters attacks. With its vast bomb bay, ease of handling and surprising speed, the mighty Lancaster transformed the effectiveness of the Bomber Command. Whilst addressing the political controversy surrounding the bombing offensive against Germany, Leo McKinstry also weaves individual tales into this compelling narrative. Rich characters are brought to life, such as Roy Chadwick the designer, who taught himself engineering at night school and Sir Arthur Harris, the austere head of the Bomber Command. This is a rich saga, a story of triumph over disaster and the history of an iconic plane.
The Second World War's Greatest Bomber
Author: Leo McKinstry
Publisher: John Murray
In this engaging book we see how an 18-year-old miner shoveling ore from deep in the ground in Utah suddenly found himself, only two years later, 30,000 feet in the air over Nazi Germany, piloting a Flying Fortress in the first wave of America’s air counteroffensive in Europe. Like thousands of other young Americans, Ray Brim was plucked by the U.S. Army to be a combat flyer, and was quickly pitted against the hardened veterans of the Luftwaffe. Brim turned out to have a natural knack for flying, however, and was assigned to the select squadron developing lead Pathfinder techniques, while experimenting with radar. He was among the first to test the teeth of the Luftwaffe’s defenses, and once those techniques had been honed, thousands of other bomber crews would follow into the maelstrom, from which 80,000 never returned. This work gives us vivid insights into the genesis of the American air campaign, told with the humor, attention to detail and humility that captures the heart and soul of our “Greatest Generation.” Brim was one of the first Pathfinder pilots to fly both day and night missions leading bomb groups of 600-plus bombers to their targets. At the onset of his missions in the spring of 1943, B-17 crews were given a 50-50 chance of returning. Each of his raids were nerve-wracking forays into the unknown; with struggles to survive the damage to his plane due to flak and German fighter attacks, in order to bring his 10-man crew home, often wounded but still alive.
The Memoir of a Lead Bomber Pilot in World War II
Author: Celia Straus,Raymond Brim
Popularly known as the Douglas Dauntless, the U.S. Navy's SBD dive bomber was well named. Though considered obsolete at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Dauntless turned the tide of war in the Pacific with the destruction of four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, making its mark in aviation history for sinking more enemy carriers than any other aircraft. Still in service at war's end, the Dauntless was the only U.S. carrier aircraft in operation from Pearl Harbor to V-J Day. The Dauntless was the only American Navy aircraft to fly in al five of the naval engagements fought exclusively by aircraft carriers and was credited with sinking the first Japanese fleet submarine and dropping the first bombs on Japanese-occupied soil during the war. The SBD was also active in the Atlantic, sinking Vichy French shipping at Casablanca and German vessels in Scandinavian waters. In between his authoritative accounts of these missions, Barrett Tillman tells the rousing story of the men who took the "slow but deadly" Dauntless into combat, loving her for her ruggedness and dependability while wishing for more speed and firepower. Among the people he describes is the pilot who nearly single-handedly knocked out a Japanese carrier and died in the process, and SBD squadron that flew unexpectedly into the Pearl Harbor attack. Filled with fascinating photographs, this book was widely acclaimed in 1976 when first published and is now available for the first time in paperback.
Author: Barrett Tillman
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Tells the story of Lieutenant Lee Lamar, copilot of the B-24 "Bottoms Up," after his plane was shot down in 1944, recounting his capture and imprisonment as a POW, the identification of his plane's wreckage sixty years later by a Croatian archaeologist, and his journey back to Croatia with the author in hopes of gaining closure.
A World War II Pilot's Story
Author: Dennis Okerstrom
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
During WWII, to help fund the war effort, junior high and senior high students at South High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan took part in the "Buy a Bomber" program raising over $375,000 selling War Bonds and Defense Loan Stamps and bought a B-17 Bomber. They christened the bomber, "The Spirit of South High," after which it flew off never to be heard from again, until now. Read the extraordinary tale of how students were able to raise so much money and the incredible "spirit" that led alumni, seventy-two years later, to solve the mystery of what happened to the bomber? This little book exemplifies home front support given to service men and women fighting in WWII.
The Untold Story of a Michigan High School, a B-17 Bomber and the Blue Ridge Parkway
Author: Sandra Warren
The true story of the men and missions of the 11th Bombardment Group as it fought alone and unheralded in the South Central Pacific, while America had its eyes on the war in Europe.
The Untold World War II Story of B-24s in the Pacific
Author: Phil Scearce
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
The author recounts his World War II experiences, including bombing runs over Eastern Europe, being shot down over Rumania, and survival as a POW
memoirs of a WWII bomber pilot
Author: William R. Cubbins
Publisher: Algonquin Books