Hitting Home, The Air Offensive Against Japan by Daniel Haulman
This booklet is part of a new series published by The Air Force History and Museums Program. Hitting Home is an overview of the bombing of the Japanese home islands from the Doolittle raid in April 1942, to operations based in China through the massive raids from the Marianas. This 39 page booklet is full of photos and contains lots of essential background information. There is a suggested reading list on the last page to guide you further in your reading on the subject. The nice thing about this publication and the others in the series is that they are affordable to everyone. Hitting Home is available for $2.75, shipping included or can even be downloaded (without the photographs) for free from the web site at AIR FORCE HISTORY SUPPORT OFFICE . Available by mail for $2.75 from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15250-7954 Stock # 008-070-00749-5 Order on line at Government Printing Office.
-Thanks to Mike Heffner for this review!
Backwards in to Battle was written by one of our web site members, Andy Doty. Andy is a former B-29 tail gunner whose book has been described as one of the best yet in describing the B-29 experience. The book is now in its fifth printing and can be ordered via Andy's email address or by sending a $15 check made out to Andy Doty and sent to 4072 Scripps Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94306. Andy will add personalized signatures if the buyer prefers.
Superfortress - The B29 and American Air Power by General Curtis LeMay published in 1988. The complete story from conception to building to battle. Published by McGraw-Hill. I borrowed this one from the library. Very good read.
Flight Of The Enola Gay by Paul W. Tibbets. Well written and produced autobiography of Gen. Tibbets who headed the 509th Bomb Group responsible for the atomic missions to Japan. Also covers his days as a B-17 commander in Europe. Published by Mid-Coast Marketing, 1620 E. Broad St., Suite 106F Columbus, OH 43203 Ph. (614) 253-0088 $30.00, signed by Gen. Tibbets.
Hap's War by Hap Halloran and Chester Marshall, Global Press, 1998. You can purchase this book directly from Hap Halloran at 4l Hallmark Circle, Menlo Park, Ca. 94025 --$23.00 includes mailing via Priority Mail. Hap tells it like it was as a POW in Japan after his aircraft was shot down over Tokyo during World War II. Here is his firsthand account of survival, release, subsequent nightmares, and eventual reconciliation with his enemies, including finding the pilot who shot them down.
THE SPECIAL PRISONER by Jim Lehrer Random House May 2000 $23.95
Jim Lehrer's new novel "The Special Prisioner" is about a B-29 crewman shot down on a fire raid on a Japanese city. Only the A/C survives and becomes a Special Prisoner in a Kempei Tai facility. B-29 crewmembers were compelled to sign a statement that they had indiscriminately bombed and killed civilians. Thus, they were denied POW status and became Federal Prisoners on trial for their lives. These were SPECIAL PRISONERS, meaning half rations vs. conventional POW's, solitary confinement in cold dark cages, no medical treatment, beatings and interrogations, and a rule of total silence.
It is very obvious that Lehrer did intense research before embarking on this book. I felt most of the time through the various chapters that he somehow must have been an invisible companion beside me during this terrible time and first hand observations enabled him to write "The Special Prisoner". There is a sub plot involving the A/C during his confinement and his severe problems in the adjustment to normal life after freedom and his return to this country. Some memories haunt him in his life as a minister and a chance sighting of a Japanese businessman at the Dallas Airport convince him that the man was his Kempei torturer of 50 some years ago. Then follows an intense pursuit and unusual climax, which could be described as a double tragedy.
This is a 227 page easy to read, hard to put down book as the reader is mesmerized reading of events and the treatment of B-29ers, and caught up in how the present day pursuit will end. I was impressed with Lehrer's ability to grasp the concept and critical importance of the "WILL TO LIVE". Conversely he skillfully wrote in an understanding manner about the "WILL TO DIE" and the quiet gentle death of some fellow Special Prisoners. The role of the Atomic Bomb as it relates to the prisoners is clearly stated - it saved the lives of all of us. Perhaps because of my orientation I thought the book was excellent. Some may read it with disdain, it is not for everyone, but I think people interested in the B-29 and the raids against Japan will want to read it.
Reviewed by Hap Halloran
Targets Left; F. J. Bradley, Turner Publishing Co. (1999). $24.95
Bradley's focus is on the final seven and a half months of the war -from January 1, 1945 to August 15, 1945. He touches only briefly on the first - and disappointing - phase of the B-29 campaign against the Empire - the frustrating China/India ordeal of the 58th Wing in 1944. Since most of the 58th's missions from India were assaults on Japanese-occupied territories rather than Japan itself, they did not bring the war home to the people of Japan. That would happen only when the Marianas were secure the huge bases on Saipan, Tinian and Guam became operational late in 1944. It was then that the 58th Wing, along with the 73rd, 313th, 314th and 315th began raining fire on Japanese cities.
Bradley's book details every 20th Air Force mission from the Marianas. These narrative accounts are augmented by charts, graphs and statistics covering a surprising variety of subjects from the number of kamikaze attacks on individual aircraft to numbers of Japanese fighters shot down per mission per aircraft. For each mission, there are tables listing bomb tonnage per group, the number of aircraft participating from each bomb group, the number of aircraft lost, how many bombed the primary target and how many tons of ordnance were dropped on primary targets. In the cases of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo, Bradley's comparative statistics on civilian casualties show that deaths in the Tokyo fire raids were significantly higher than those caused by the atomic bombs in the other two.
This is not a book to be read for the sheer pleasure of reading. It is, however, an absorbing reference work by one who was there. It is a book for 20th Air Force veterans, students of military history and members of the current generation who simply want to know what happened to Japan when the 20th Air Force finally got its act together.
Copies of No Strategic Targets Left can be obtained from Turner Publishing Company at P. 0. Box 3 10 1, Paducah, KY 42002-3 10 1. Orders may also be placed by telephone:: (800) 788-3350; Fax at (270) 443-0335 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Add $6.00 for shipping (each additional copy $3.50)
Thanks to Don Murray for his outstanding review!
American War Criminal
Hanley II. This is the story of a Tinian based B-29 pilot; his cadet days,
bombing missions and horrifying months as a POW. "This book should
be required reading for all true Americans" -Gen. Paul Tibbets Available
from Eakin Press, PO Drawer 90159, Austin, TX $27.95
Thank God for the Atomic Bomb by Paul Fussell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Out of all the tons of books, comments, arguments, etc. on this subject, this is the best detailed accounting and justification for the action taken 55 years ago. Fussell was a 2nd Lt. in the infantry during WWII and was seriously wounded, so he speaks as one who has been there, done that. After the war, he got his Ph.D. from Harvard and has gone on to become a noted writer and historian. Barnes & Noble has this on six, one and one-half hour tapes for about $40. I also have a condensed written version of "Thank God For The Atomic Bomb" of some four to five pages that I would be glad to share with anyone interested.
Michael Gerald Michael email@example.com
Courage Beyond The Blindfold (The Last POW's of WWII) by Walter R. Ross. Published by Global Press.
In July of 1995, I played a golf outing with my old seniors group. On completion of the round, there was a table in the clubhouse with a stack of paperback books that caught my eye. It was about the B29 war against Japan. There wasn't anyone around that knew who left them there. Apparently they were free. I took two, one for me and one for my ex-business partner who had been an ECM man on 29s during the Korean affair. Two weeks later, I was paired with a man named Walter Ross. He was the writer of the books I took. I told him how much my partner and I enjoyed his writing. His reply was, "Thanks, you owe me $28.00." Shortly after that, he was one of the hosts at a large VJ Day, 50th Anniversary, honoring Harry Truman for having the guts to use the Bomb.
The book relates the story of Walter's entry into the service, and training, but mostly tells of the experience of being shot down and ditching off the coast of Japan. Shortly before approaching their target, their radioman heard a report that a very large, unknown type of bomb had been dropped on Japan.
After their ditching, and right after the Nagasaki bombing, they were picked up by a fishing boat, and returned to land. The civilians and military there were somewhat irate. The book tells of their fears and how close they came to being executed.
(I was on an LST after having completing the 35 combat missions, returning home for a thirty day rest leave, when we heard the radio report of the bomb. I was to report to the west coast for reassignment and probably another tour in the Mariana's. On reaching Ft. Leavenworth about August 30th, I was released from active duty. Thank you Mr. Truman! I was at the 50th Memorial too.)
Anderton, David A., B-29 Superfortress at War, Chas. Scribner's, 1978
Baugher, Joe, Encyclopedia of American Military Aircraft, http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/b029i.html
Berger, Carl, The B-29 Superfortress.Ballantine Books, 1970
Birdsall, Steve, B-29 Superfortress In Action.Squadron/Signal, 1977
Saga Of The Superfortress.Doubleday, 1980
Superfortress: The Boeing B-29.Squadron/Signal 1980
Burkett, Prentiss, The Unofficial History Of The 499th Bomb Group. Historical Aviation Albums, 1981
Collison, Thomas; The Superfortress is Born; Duell, Sloan & Pierce, 1945
Craven, Wesley F. and Cate, James L., The Army Air Forces in WWII, Vol. 5, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945; U. of Chicago Press, 1953
Davis, Larry, B-29 Superfortress in Action,Squadron/Signal, 1997
Delano, Ostman & Cole, Superfortress Over Japan, Twenty Four Hours with a B-29.Motorbooks International, 1996
Gurney, Gene, Journey Of The Giants.Cowar-McCann, 1961
Higham, Robin, and Siddall, Abigail, Flying Combat Aircraft of the USAAF-USAF; Iowa State University Press, 1975
Johnsen, Frederick, The B-29 Book.Bomber Books, 1980
Kerr, E.B., Flames Over Tokyo.Donald Fine, Inc. 1991
LeMay, General Curtis, w/Yenne, Bill; Superfortress: The Story of The B-29 and American Air Power. McGraw-Hill, 1988
Lloyd, Alwin, Detail & Scale Vol. 10, B-29 Production Versions Tab Books, 1983
Detail & Scale Vol. 25, B-29 Derivatives.Tab Books, 1987
Marshall, Chester, B-29 Superfortress.Motorbooks International, 1993
Marshall, Chester, w/ Warren Thompson, Final Assault On The Rising Sun. Specialty Press, 1995.
B-29 Photo Combat Diary.Specialty Press, 1996
Mayborn, Mitch, The Boeing B-29 Superfortress.Profile Publications, 1982
Morrison, W.H., Point Of No Return: The Story of the 20th Air Force; Time Books, 1979
Pimlott, John, B-29 Superfortress.Chartwell Books, 1980
Rust, Ken, 20th Air Force Story.Historical Aviation Albums, 1979
Thomas, Gordon, and Witts, Max Morgan, Ruin from the Air. Scarborough House, 1990
Davis, Joseph T.,
The Story of the 73rd: The Unofficial History of the 73rd Bomb Wing;
Battery Press, Nashville, TN, 1980 (originally published in 1946)
I am a regular visitor
to the various B-29 websites now on the internet and would like to express
my appreciation to all of the gallant men who flew Superfortresses in
World War II. To pay tribute to all of these heroic men, many of whom
are your grandfathers, uncles, husbands, and fathers, and many of whom,
God bless them, are still with us today, I have written a novel called
The Triumph and the Glory. I wrote it for all of them. But
most of all, I wrote it for all of those fine men who didn't come home
again, for those thousands upon thousands who rode a B-17, B-24, or B-29
to glory for the sake of freedom, and lit the darkest hour in human history
with the glow of their courage. My novel has just been published and is
available in all of the major bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, Crown,
B.Dalton, and Waldenbooks. It can also be ordered over the internet at
Amazon.com or at Barnes
& Noble. Thank you for doing your part to remember all of our
veterans by visiting the world wide web's World War II sites. Sincerely,
Truman's Dilemma, Paul D. Walker
Embracing Defeat, by John W. Dower, W.W. Norton & Company/The New Press (1999), $29.95
This book is a very broad yet deep look at the period of American occupation in Japan after the War, examining all aspects of Japanese society as well as the bizarre and intimate relationship between Japan and the occupation forces. Their society and their relationship with us are both shown as evolving together, in some ways as planned while in other ways against all plans. This was unexplored territory, with both sides struggling for guidance from the past as well as inventing new rules as they danced together in the dark.
The black market, literature and censorship, escape through religion and hedonism, starvation, state-sponsored prostitution corps, liberal
vs. conservative struggle
within MacArthur's staff, restoration of Japanese military for the Cold
War, as well as political and palace intrigue are just a few of the areas
which are examined in detail.
This book is a "must read" for all of us on Sallyann's list, giving us an intimate view of the events surrounding the B-29 program as well as the historic results made possible by the aircraft's massive power.
Reviewed by Tom Mathewson
Return to Honor is a book about the history and restoration of the plane that started this entire web site and mailing list. Although she is named "Sweet Eloise" now she was known only as serial # 44-70113 by my father-in-law.
This book chronicles the plane's history both in combat and restoration with accompanying photos, text, personal letters and more. It also has the history of the B-29s in general and a history of Marietta, GA and its bomber plant (where this plane now resides). A very enjoyable read.
You can purchase this book for $23 (including shipping) from Dr. Pete Inglis who was a flight surgeon at Yokota AFB 1947-49. Reviewed by Sallyann.
Battle Wounds of Iwo Jima
Dr. Thomas Brown
Thanks to George Beck for the scan and the review!
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
|by Steve Pace
This is a complete history of this extraordinarily advanced aircraft, including full details of its design and manufacture and service with the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War Two, the Royal Air Force in the early 1950s and the Korean War and after. It also includes information of the Soviet-built B-29 copy - the Tu-4 Bull. Enlivened with firsthand accounts of wartime servicemen and many high-quality photographs, this is an indispensable book for anyone interested in the "Superfort." It has 192 pages and is hardbound with a dust jacket. It has an eight-page color section and some 200 black and white photographs. It retails for $44.95 and its ISBN is 1 86126 581-6. It measures 9-1/2" by 12.0". It can be purchased directly from: The Crowood Press Ramsbury Wiltshire SN8 2HR UK. Online at http://www.crowood.com or at any fine book store or aviation museum.
The Heavenly Body is about WWII in the South Pacific as fought by the B-25's of the 42nd Bomb Group. Crews formed special bonds with the plane assigned to them. A hunk of metal that prefers on crew over another? Maybe. At least their crews thought so.
Bob Shanks served as a WWII Air Force pilot in the South pacific. Go here to buy the book!
Farrell has written "Yo", a book of autobiographical short stories. Some
of these stories are funny, some touching and all good reading. His growing
up draws a close parallel to many of your younger days. I bet many of you
will see the same thing and get similar laughs and rememberances as I had
in reading it. - Review by Ford Tolbert
The Silverplate Bombers A History and Registry of the Enola Gay And Other B-29s Configured to Carry Atomic Bombs by Richard H. Campbell Foreword by Paul W. Tibbets 245 pages $45 hardcover (7 x 10) 113 photographs, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes ISBN 0-7864-2139-8 2005. Published by McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640 1-800-253-2187 (Orders)
This book documents the development and delivery of the Silverplate B-29 bomber, the remarkable airplane with capabilities that surpassed those of known enemy fighters of the time and was employed to release the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. The basic history of the Silverplate B-29, from conception to successful development, is set forth in the early chapters, which discuss the then secret work of the 509th Composite Group at Wendover Army Air Field, on the Marianas Island of Tinian, and at Roswell Army Air Field. You can purchase this book at bookstores or from the publisher by calling 800-253-2187 or by going to www.mcfarlandpub.com.
No Sweat - by our own Bud Farrell.
This is a collection of approximately 75 narratives (and numerous photos with most taken personally by the author), related to thoughts and observations of many people and incidents experienced in a relatively short military career during the Korean War, just 2 years and 7 months, but almost a subsequent life time of reflection of all!
You can order this book signed directly from Bud for $28.00 including S&H, or puchase it here for $30.25 unsigned. Either way, get a copy, sit back and enjoy. I know Bud personally, and this will be a book filled with laughter and tears, love and enjoyment ~ Sallyann
Flying the Hump of China
youngster's flying dreams became a reality when he enlisted in the Army
Air Corps. Flying ever more challenging airplanes, he earns his wings and
learns skills needed to fly the 4-engine B-24 Liberator. He boards a plane
for overseas, his destination unknown. It turns out to be India, flying
the C-109, a cargo aircraft converted from a B-24, and the C-54, which hauled
gasoline over the Hump to China, where B-29's waited for gas to make bombing
runs on Japan. He completed 65 round trips over the Hump, where fear is
not the enemy; fear is towering thunderstorms with lightning, extreme turbulence,
driving rain, icing and headwinds. Over 150 photos clarify the dual CBI
mission; the two-year effort to reopen the Burma Road and the first airlift
that delivered 650,000 tons of support to China at a cost of 509 crashed
aircraft, 1314 crew members killed and 345 still resting on the Hump routes.
Fear, Guts and Grit
Inside the cover is my story and those of several other flyers who participated in the nerve wrenching drama of these death defying missions, flying the B-29 Superfortress. The stories are compelling. They depict a graphic portrayal of the air war and its chilling effect on the airmen who put their lives on the line. Some readers are stunned by the magnitude of the destruction inflicted on the Empire by these giant Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bombers. The slashing fighter attacks and the Flak Alley jungles will leave you in awe. You'll wonder how anyone could have survived such hellish missions.
To order the books and for more information please check out Ray's web site: Fire, Fear and Guts
Rain of Fire is the remarkable story from a 26 year-old Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, piloting B-29s during the final stages of WWII in the Pacific Theatre. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day 1944, B-29 fire bomb raids began on Japan from Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross for piloting the largest planes used in during WWII, his last mission was August 6th, 1945 — the day of Hiroshima — the same day he was forced to ditch his aircraft into the sea.
To order this book which is 9 x 12 inches - Oversize 225 Photographs; 210 pages ISBN: 1-891030-32-9 $25.00 Softcover - click here
Z Square 7
by Frank Grube
This is the true story about the airmen who flew the B-29 with the serial number 42-63486. This Superfortress was assigned to the 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bomb Group and 881st Bomb Squad stationed on Saipan. "Z Square 7" fell into the Tokyo Bay on May 24, 1945 at 0400. There was one survivor. This is their story written by Frank Grube, who spent an enormous amount of research to make these men REAL to the reader -- not just another name on another plane. To order this book, please contact Frank Grube. It is a fast read, a heartbreaking story and humanizes what all B-29 aircrews endured. ~ Sallyann
Bringing the Thunder: The Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific
Gordon Bennet Robertson, Jr
Features dozens of never-before-seen photos of the B-29 in action. A fast-paced, riveting account that puts the reader in the cockpit of a B-29 flying incendiary raids over Tokyo in WWII. Ben Robertson was a pilot of a B-29 in the 29th Bomb Group and is the President of that Association. Ben will personally autograph copies of his book, postage included, for $22.59. You can reach Ben by leaving a message at 818-385-0518 - or writing him at 22647 Ventura Blvd #107, Woodland Hills, CA 91364. Ben does not have a computer. The book is also available at Amazon.
Friendly Monster: A Warbird and its Crew
Friendly Monster was the code name for the B-29 bomber in the Pacific Arena during WWII. This is the story of John W. Cox, the commander of a remarkable flight crew and their tour of duty during WWII. It starts with their training and then on to end the war. The book covers April 1944 to July 1945. John Cox left the service in 1945 as a Captain with over 1000 hours of flying time and 33 combat missions against Japan.
The B-29 Superfortress. A Registry of the Planes and Their Missions.
Robert A. Mann
The B-29 Superfortress was, for many years, one of the cornerstones of American military aviation. While it is best known as a bomber, it also served in military and weather reconnaissance, as a tanker, and as a rescue plane. The B-29 has a long and storied history, and was a crucial tool for American and Allied forces during World War II, Korea and beyond.
This operational history of the B-29 gives in-depth information on the career of each plane. A brief introduction explains each section. There is a list of the names and serial numbers of the planes, each plane’s history from delivery date to removal from service, a description of the B-29’s physical characteristics and performance parameters, and a description of the five B-29 variants. Sections of the book give complete mission data for the B-29’s World War II service in the China-Burma-India theater of operations, operations over Japan, aerial mining missions and test atomic bombing runs. Mission lists are provided detailing the B-29’s service in Korea, and there is a list of B-29s loaned to the British Royal Air Force. A list of definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations for relative terms is included. An appendix provides a matrix reference system for determining full serial numbers from the last three digits, and there is a bibliography.
Available at www.amazon.com.
Aircraft Record Cards Of The United States Air Force
The B-29 Superfortress Chronology 1934 - 1960
Robert A. Mann
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress lived an operational life of only 26 years, but what a life it was. Two of the most famous B-29s, the Enola Gay and Bockscar, were responsible for dropping the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Beginning with an introduction that provides basic information on the physical plane itself, including dimensions, specs, leading particulars and operational usages, this book provides a chronology of the B-29 from the first feasibility studies and earliest designs in 1934 to the retirement of the last operational B-29 by the Air Force in 1960. The book also includes a glossary and three appendices which provide a discussion of the general anatomy of a mission, a sample of operational voice or radio codes used in 1945, and an exhaustive (and entertaining) reference guide to aircraft names like the Ape Ship, Bait Me?, and Flying Lemon.
Available at www.amazon.com.
|B-29's Over Japan 1944 - 1945
Robert A. Mann, Samuel R. Harris, Jr
This book is a historical account using diaries of Colonel Harris and other air corps statistical information, as well as providing a bit of a the personal story of one man's view as it follows through the days of Colonel Harris' time in the Marianas. The book has a lot of references to the missions, planes and some personnel that flew out of Isley field.
This book puts the timeline or chronology of the various bomb groups together - there are many valuable notations and a good amount of detailed data included. Colonel Harris' BG is more in-depthly highlighted and noted, but the books makes reference to other groups and planes that flew the bomb runs from Saipan in 1944-45 as well. It's both a nice personal account of the days and missions, and a good reference text for those looking for related information.
Available at www.amazon.com.
|Click here to read the article in a Word document.||
Operation Cardinal ". . . . So you Must be a Spy"
Japan's Longest Day
Book to be published in 2013.
For Mother, Love and Country
"For Mother and Country" is one man's journey discovering the lost WWII legacy of the Greatest Generation, set within the context of the "B-29ers" and their devastating impact upon the war. After witnessing the fire sale of America's heritage in recent years as the WWII Veterans pass at an alarming rate, he soon embarked to save as much of the Greatest Generation's legacy that he could; recording their forgotten stories and preserving the reminders they left behind for generations yet to come. It became a journey discovering the lost legacy of the men and women he only knew from their faded photographs, letters and documents; stories of bravery, self-sacrifice, and determination that evoked a resolute vow from an MTV Generation, to repay a solemn debt to the Greatest Generation: for inspiring and answering the questions within his own life and struggles to achieve the American dream in a time of American nightmares. The selfless acts so long ago taught him the true meaning of being an American, and the price for those freedoms taken for granted today. The lost legacy he discovered was to be a lesson in the spirit and morality of the Greatest Generation, in a time when generations of today need be reminded of that spirit and morality of a people who dared to fight for their dreams and freedoms in the darkest days of the Second World War.
Hog Wild-1945: The True Story of How the Soviets Stole and Reverse-Engineered the American B-29 Bomber [Paperback]
Dwight R. Rider (Author)
I first became interested in Japan's World War II era atomic bomb program when stationed with the U.S. Air Force in the Republic of Korea in the mid-1980s. It was there that I read Robert Wilcox's book, Japan's Secret War: Japan's Race against Time to build its Own Atomic Bomb. Published in 1985 and available in the Kunsan Air Base Stars and Stripes Book Store the book shed light on a shadowy bit of long-since forgotten Japanese military history dating into WWII. At the time, as a targeting intelligence specialist, the Wilcox work created in me an interest in possible origins of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. Robert Wilcox's research was based largely upon an article written by David Snell (28 Mar 1921-Jul 1987) and published in the Atlanta Constitution in October 1945. Snell's article was front page news. Its headline shouted at readers; "Japan Developed Atom Bomb; Russia Grabbed Scientists." The article then, as now remains the subject of intense review, myth and legend. Hog Wild-1945: The True Story of How the Soviets Stole and Reverse-Engineered the American B-29 Bomber explores but one portion of the multi-element account of Japan's atomic bomb program as written by David Snell in 1946.
The two issues, the bomber and the bomb, are largely unrelated. Oddly enough however, when David Snell included comments about the B-29 lost over northern Korea he was on to something - but it is doubtful that he ever knew what it was. What led to the story of 1946 also remains in question. The motivations that led to the publishing of the story in 1946 have never been fully examined, and with the passing of David Snell in 1987, are likely to be lost forever. Why the story was written, what it said about the US in 1946 may eventually be more important that what it revealed about Japan. There is also a possibility that the story published by David Snell was not written by David Snell. Future researchers would be wise to keep these ideas in mind. This book reveals secrets long-since held but largely forgotten.
This can be purchased here.
| JET AGE MAN
by Colonel Earl J. McGill (USAF Ret.) both compliments and trumps his previous book BLACK TUESDAY OVER NAMSI, which remains the sole accurate and comprehensive account of the largely forgotten October 23, 1951 massacre of nine 307th Bomb Wing B-29s by Soviet-piloted Mig-15s.
Review by John D. Bybee
Colonel McGill as a B-29 copilot survived twenty-eight combat missions over Korea. On June 7, 1954 McGill first saw his new command the RB-47E. “I will never forget seeing her that first time. Her grace and slender beauty made me weak with desire to caress and subvert her to my will. There would be no release for her or for me, as long as she existed. Four months later, at the peak of my passion, she began killing my friends, and for six more years she tried to kill me.”
In 1960 Colonel McGill moved into the left seat of the megaton H-Bomb, Soviet civilization killer, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. After Sputnik, Colonel McGill and his SAC (Strategic Air Command) colleagues stood weeklong 24/7 “hard” nuke alerts. They flew EWO (Emergency War Order) missions towards mainland Chinese targets. Of which Colonel McGill remarked, “Historically, it is difficult to explain why B-52s were assigned to deter the Chinese communists from entering a war (Vietnam) that had not yet begun.”
Mission profiles also included Reflex (rotational alerts from a ring of forward foreign airbases stretching from Greenland to Turkey) and twenty-four hour long Chrome Dome missions in fully combat configured B-52’s humping “cargo” to their “Go-No Go” tipping points at the margins of Russian airspace. These unrecognized heroes of the Cold War prevailed during the Cuban Missile Crisis and persevered in Arc Light missions over North Vietnam.
In JET AGE MAN’s Chapter Twenty “Voices from the Sea” Col. McGill relates the eerie tale of “Meal 88” a B-52F that became a jet-age “Lady Be Good”. “Meal 88” with her eight man crew disappeared on February 28, 1968 over the Gulf of Mexico in the span of time it takes to read this paragraph.
On occasion military histories after the opening chapter drown the reader’s interest in a tsunami of technical jargon. In JET AGE MAN. Colonel McGill’s recollections are at times humorous or sad, but always thoughtful and passionate. Colonel McGill clearly balances his narrative between military precision and a layman’s clarity.
JET AGE MAN reveals truths and uncovers secrets of the cold peace of the Total Cold War Era. SAC veteran or average citizen will be equally comfortable strapping in and riding JET AGE MAN’s silver and nuke-white arrows of Armageddon to their invisible stratospheric fail-safe points.
|Letters to Lida is an historical account of World War II in the words of B-29 tail-gunner, Staff Sergeant David Lemal. The story is based on 150 letters David wrote to his mother, Lida, during the war and his reflections, as he read those letters to his daughter, nearly seventy years later. You can see photos of David Lemal here. Photos are on the 9th Bomb Group's 99th Squadron Photos page. David is on the bottom row.|