"Harvest of the Grim Reapers Vol. 1" - by author Lawrence J. Hickey
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Harvest of the Grim Reapers
The Illustrated History of the 3rd and 27th Bomb Groups During World War II
Volume I: Prewar to December 1942
Hardcover (528 pages), brand new
With roots dating back to the air war over France in World War I, the 3rd Bomb Group would pioneer the low-level air attack strategy used in the Pacific Theater in World War II. In 1939, the unit was split up: half the personnel would make up the new 27th Bomb Group that would help defend the Philippines, while the rest would remain in the U.S. for additional training. The two units would reunite in Australia in March 1942, after two dozen 27th pilots escaped the maelstrom of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Bolstered by three score new pilots, and later, RAAF co-pilots and gunners, their first major combat operation was the Royce Raid, a surprise attack against the Japanese in the heart of the Philippine Islands.
Forced to adapt to an unpredictable supply line, the 3rd Bomb Group flew A-24 dive-bombers, A-20 strafer-bombers they modified themselves and B-25 medium bombers acquired from the Dutch Air Force. Major Paul I. “Pappy” Gunn, a future legend of the 3rd Bomb Group, was instrumental in the development of the A-20 strafer model that changed the way air units attacked the Japanese. Throughout 1942, they bombed Japanese bases at Lae, Salamaua and Buna, often without available fighter cover. Pursued by the Tainan Kokutai, a Japanese fighter unit then at its peak prowess, airmen who survived after their planes were shot down over enemy territory had to cross the untamed jungles of New Guinea while dodging Japanese troops to reach Allied territory. Their stories are told to the full extent of what information is available.
Written by the author of Warpath Across the Pacific, working in tandem with distinguished historian Edward Rogers, the story of the 27th and 3rd Bomb Group in 1942 is a truly unparalleled tale of bravery, innovation and hardship. Accompanying the narrative are more than 700 photos, four comprehensive appendices, two spectacular color paintings and 20 detailed color profiles by aviation artist Jack Fellows. Harvest of the Grim Reapers, Vol. I serves as an important record of the early air war in the Pacific Theater.
Other books in this series:
- "Ken’s Men Against the Empire Vol. 1"
- "Ken’s Men Against the Empire Vol. 2"
- "Warpath Across the Pacific"
- "Rampage of the Roarin’ 20’s"
About the Author
Larry has been fascinated by aviation since his boyhood in Wichita, KS. After graduating with a degree in History, he spent 1966-67 living in Saigon in the household of a top-ranking Vietnamese royal family while working as a researcher for the Air Force’s Project CHECO, a branch of the Operations Analysis, 7th Air Force. After completing several highly acclaimed studies on air operations in SE Asia, he returned to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies at Georgetown. He soon accepted a job with the Defense Intelligence Agency where he became the first analyst for the South Vietnam Political Desk.
During most of his career with DIA, he also was a member of the Vietnam Special Studies Group, an inter-agency task force under Dr. Henry Kissinger that developed the exit strategy for ending the Vietnam War. Under direct orders from the President, he returned to Vietnam in 1970 to conduct research in the Mekong Delta for a major cease-fire planning study. As Political Analyst for North Vietnam, in January 1972, Larry was credited with providing the first warning of the forthcoming Communist spring offensive, and thereafter reported on it on a daily bases to the highest levels of the US Government, including as an advisor to the National Security Council Staff.
© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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Great book about the B-25 war against the Japanese in the south china sea and
the island fignting , bombing and staffing with more pictures than most WWII books.
a wonderful accounting of the pacific war. found a picture of my father which is priceless to me.