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|Books - War in the Air - Consolidated B-24 Liberator
US Eighth Air Force in Europe: Vol 2 The Eagle Spreads It's Wing: Blitz Week, Black Tuesday, Blood and Oil, Martin W. Bowman. Starts with the attack on Ploesti and covers the costly period when US bombers were penetrating deep into Germany without fighter escorts, including the raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt and ending in December 1943. This is an excellent first hand and oral history of the bombing campaign, although would benefit from a stronger structure. [Read Full Review]
US Eighth Air Force in Europe: Eager Eagles 1941-Summer 1943, Martin W. Bowman. A good oral history of the first two years of the Eighth Air Force, from the attack on Pearl Harbor and the formation of the Eighth to July 1943 and Blitz Week. This is the period of early escorted raids and the first raids into Germany, ending before the famous costly raids that proved the need for long range fighters. [read full review]
The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission, Martin Middlebrook. A very detailed account of the costly American daylight raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt of 17 August 1943, a pair of maximum effort attacks that were meant to cripple parts of German industry but instead made it clear that even the heavily armed B-17 Flying Fortress couldn't operate without fighter escort. [read full review]
Lady's Men: The Story of World War II's Mystery Bomber and her Crew, Mario Martinez. Partly the story of a doomed bomber crew and partly the tale of the detective work that saw their aircraft rediscovered and solved the mystery of the crew's fate. A fascinating if inevitably rather downbeat story. [read full review]
The Mighty Eighth at War, Martin W. Bowman. Looks at the evolving battle between the Luftwaffe and the Eighth Air Force, as seen by the US airmen themselves. The book is dominated by first-hand accounts of the fighting, which make up at least half of the text. Bowman provides a framework that links these accounts, as well as some detailed footnotes expanding on the airmen's experiences. [read full review]
Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF.
B-24 Liberator Units of the Eighth Air Force, Robert F. Dorr. Although the Eighth Air Force is famous for operating the B-17, even at the end of the Second World War the B-24 still equipped one third of all Eighth Army Bombardment Groups. Here Dorr looks at the role the Liberator played with the Eighth Army, from its tiny beginnings in 1942 to the final massive air armadas of 1944 and 1945. Dorr also looks at the sizable detachments sent to North Africa during 1943, and the famous Ploesti mission.
B-24 Liberator Units of the Fifteenth Air Force, Robert F. Dorr. The B-24 was most closely associated with the war in the Mediterranean. Although the Fifteenth Air Force only came into existence half way through the North African campaign, Dorr begins by looking at the role played by the B-24 before that date, before moving on to follow the Fifteenth from Africa to Italy, but the main focus is on the strategic bombing campaign waged over much of occupied Europe and southern Germany by the B-24s of the Fifteenth.
B-24 Liberator Units of the Pacific War, Robert F. Dorr. The B-24 played a major part in the war in the Pacific, serving as the main heavy bomber for the USAAF in the Pacific from the start of the war until the late arrival of the B-29. The Pacific campaign was fought on a vast scale, over theatres as varied as the jungles of Burma and the icy Aleutian islands. Dorr splits this volume into five parts - one looking at the early period of the war, when small numbers of B-24s took part in desperate attempts to stop the Japanese advance, one chapter each for the Fifth, Seventh and Thirteenth Air Forces, and a final chapter for the combined Far East Air Force.
Under the Southern Cross, Bob Livingstone. A look at the career of the B-24 Liberator in the South Pacific, and in particular its association with the RAAF, where it was the first four-engined heavy bomber to be received. Also looks at the period when the B-24 was the most important four-engined heavy for the USAAF in Australia and New Guinea.