BRAVE SUICIDAL DAYLIGHT RAIDS SPECTACULARLY EFFECTIVE
Nonpareil Schiffer Military Aviation History Publisher, Best in the World, Does It Again In Clear Photos and Cogent Words!
Reviewed and recommended by Don DeNevi
“Black Sunday PLOESTI”, by Michael Hill. Schiffer Military/Aviation History, 8 ½” x 11”, over 700 photos, 260pp, $59.99.
“We Flew Alone – – Men and Missions of the United States Navy’s B-24 Liberator Squadrons – – Pacific Operations: February 1943 – September 1944 (2nd Edition)”, by Alan C. Carey. Schiffer Military/Aviation History, 8 ½” x 11”, over 400 photos, 151pp, $29.95.
“Above An Angry Sea – – Men and Missions of The United States Navy’s PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2, Privateer Squadrons – – Pacific Theater; October 1944 – September 1945 (2nd Edition)”, by Alan C. Carey. Schiffer Military/Aviation History, 8 ½”x11”, over 400 photos, 191pp, $29.95.
By early 1942, American and British airmen were convinced that mighty air armadas would force Germany, Italy, and Japan to their knees.
Daylight precision attacks by close-flying formations of self-defending B-17s and B-24s with newly installed Norden bombsights guiding bombs to key industries, military targets, and marshaling yards from 20,000 feet on a daily settled the matter on the best way to leave the enemy in ruins. All that was missing were battle commander cries, “I want plenty of smoke pouring from critical targets, oil refineries, ball-bearing factories, troop trains and barracks. Bring back dense black smoke to make your aircraft proud of its shot-up, battle-scarred history!”
“Black Sunday PLOESTI” is a truly a magnificent book. Along with the 700 plus photos, and excellent artwork (the cover alone is worth the price of the book!) by Mike Boss of Hill City, Kansas, Operation Tidal Wave comes alive for what air battle buffs and enthusiasts have known for seven decades, the low-level raid on Hitler’s critically important oil refineries on the outskirts of Ploesti, Rumania, was one of three of the most legendary air raids of World War II. Author-historian Michael Hill recounts the incredibly heroic efforts of Bomber Groups 376th, 93rd, 44th, 389th, and 98th, where virtually every plane returned to base shot up in one form or another. Hitherto forgotten photos taken during the mission, many from the original negatives, dramatically show the successful raid, after almost a countless number of unsuccessful ones. Readers will be enthralled by the sense of intensity of smashing, penetrating flak and aerial combat until finally the raid destroys Hitler’s final realistic hope of winning World War II. Hill also achieves a personal flavor from the unique viewpoints of the crew members themselves. For the armchair historian, he includes a rare listing of each Black Sunday aircraft’s complete listing of personnel who flew the Mission “Tidal Wave” on August 1, 1943.
Meanwhile, we fly from southern Rumania into the heart of the Pacific War. Thanks to prolific writer-researcher Alan C. Carey, World War II readers are privy to boarding U.S. Navy’s B-24 Liberators, and PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateer Squadrons in Operations beginning in February, 1943 through September, 1944 (Volume One) and, in Volume Two, October 1944 to September 1945. Each volume focuses upon the men who served in a little known aspect of WWII: the U.S. Navy’s patrol bombing squadrons which flew the newly designed B-24’s.
The men often flew alone on searches that extended 800 to a thousand miles across an empty and unforgiving ocean. Often, when crews were lost, no one knew what happened to the vanished. Such are the accounts in these back to back volumes, again, superb Christmas gifts for the World War reader.