First edition. Publisher's original blue cloth with gilt titles to the spine, in dustwrapper. Illustrated in black and white throughout. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm, the cloth bright and fresh. The contents are clean throughout and without inscriptions or stamps. Complete with the lightly rubbed dustwrapper that remains without fading, loss or tears.
The Hundredth Bomb Group (Heavy), was activated on June 1st, 1942, at the Orlando Army Air Base, Florida and received its first personnel in late October of that year at Gowan Field, Idaho. Within weeks, several hundred men were drawn in from all walks of life, from bankers, lawyers and engineers, to truck drivers and farmers. In early June 1943, the Group arrived at Station 139 Thorpe Abbotts, an R.A.F. airfield covering about two hundred acres. The first mission, as part of the Eighth, was flown on June 25th. Three Fortresses failed to return, with the loss of thirty men - twenty five had perished. Several weeks later, in early October, the Group sustained heavy losses, when twenty-one aircraft and 'over 200 men went missing or were killed in a week'. It was at this time that the name of the 'Bloody Hundredth' first came about. This was followed at regular intervals by further heavy losses throughout the period of combat. As a result, the Hundredth soon became known as 'a hard luck group' and a place to be avoided. In its time at Thorpe Abbotts, the outfit participated in 306 missions, flew 8,630 sorties, released 19,257 tons of bombs and 137.8 tons of supplies. Over 800 men were killed, in action or flying accidents and many more became Prisoners of War. In all, 229 Fortresses were lost or salvaged. At anyone time, 3,500 men served at Thorpe Abbotts. Even today, when veterans talk about the Hundredth, the remark comes back: "We thought you were all dead". - publisher's blurb.
Stock code: 24715