No society can exist without a warrior class.
These are our firemen, police and military.
Long ignored, the story of the 27th Bomb Group is one of the
finest ever written about MacArthur's use of air power. Like
his attached Navy ships, they have been regularly ignored by
historians of the Pacific War.
With almost a spell-binding ease, the authors drop you into the
long battle for the Philippines. The confusion is real, the communication
systems in disarray, bombs exploding, streams of Japanese bullets
lacing the airfields and you are there.
Were this a novel, it would be a page turner. Alas, it is history
- but so personalized that the men become your friends and you
mourn their loss as much as their fellow aviators.
For the men who escaped to Australia at the start of the war,
you live their resurrection as a fighting bomb squadron that
helps MacArthur turn the tide, destroying Japanese shipping and
adapting their planes for close air support on the fighting fronts.
With the audacity of a war healer politician, they stole (misappropriated
an "earmark" for another command) some two dozen B-25
Mitchell bombers, modified them for low level bombing, strafing
and close battle support.
For those men captured on Bataan and Mindoro, you live their
experiences as prisoners of war, made into slaves of the Japanese
industrial war machine.
You will not finish this book without saying to yourself, "My
God, where did we find such men?"