"Ken’s Men Against the Empire" - Signed by the Author, Lawrence J. Hickey

No reviews
Regular price $ 74.95

Shipping: All books are signed by the author and ship directly from the publisher using Media Mail. Allow at least two weeks for delivery.

Ken’s Men Against the Empire
Volume I: Prewar to October 1943 The B-17 Era


Hardcover (416 pages), brand new and signed by author Lawrence J. Hickey

Reviews

"This book is an essential addition to your aviation library." - www.pacificwrecks.com

"The research and time taken to write and produce this book is second-to-none … a must for 43rd Bombardment Group enthusiasts, Pacific War enthusiasts or aircraft enthusiasts…” ‑ LiberatorCrash.com

"This book is a massive undertaking … The result is a magnificent hard-bound volume that comprises well over 400 pages and is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of previously unpublished photographs.” ‑ Air Classics Magazine, 5 stars

Short Description

Like the 3rd and 38th Bomb Group projects, our research on the 43rd Bomb Group developed so much material that we either had to edit out hundreds of pages of text and photos from the book, or split it into two volumes. We’ve opted for the latter, in order to present a comprehensive and truly definitive history of the 43rd during WWII.

Activated less than a year before Pearl Harbor the 43rd was created in the rush to quickly build up American air power as the country’s involvement in another global war loomed. It soon moved to Bangor, Maine where it grew into a full-sized bomb group. Only a single prototype of America's mightiest heavy bomber at that time, the B-17, nicknamed the Flying Fortress, was available to the unit at Bangor and that aircraft was soon destroyed in a crash. In February 1942, only weeks after the beginning of the war with Japan, the 43rd's ground echelon prematurely deployed overseas aboard the greatest ocean liner of the time, the Queen Mary, in an epic, unescorted voyage across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans that skirted Africa and the southern perimeter of Asia to Australia.

However, it was not until mid-year that the air echelon began deploying to the Southwest Pacific Theater as B-17s became available and crews trained on the aircraft could be assigned. Initially flying missions out of Australia in B-17Es and Fs, the air echelon of the 43rd trained with and eventually absorbed the battered remnants of the 19th Bomb Group, which had been worn out as a combat unit during the early fighting in the Philippines at the end of 1941 and during the first ten months of 1942 over the Netherlands East Indies and Rabaul. When the tired veterans from the 19th returned to the States in late-1942 to recuperate and rebuild the unit, many of its remaining planes and less-experienced personnel were turned over to the 43rd to continue the fight. A cadre of experienced 19th Bomb Group pilots remained behind to help fill out the leadership positions within the unit.

The 43rd began full-scale operations under its own headquarters in mid-November 1942 from bases in northern Australia and later, Port Moresby, New Guinea, conducting missions in the northern Solomons, Papua New Guinea and against Japanese island bases on New Britain and New Ireland, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its participation in the Papuan Campaign. For the next year, the 43rd was one of the two heavy bombardment groups in MacArthur's Fifth Air Force, that carried the war to the Japanese at Salamaua, Lae, Wewak and Rabaul.

During this period, on a special mapping mission in the Solomons on June 16, 1943, the crew of a B-17 piloted by Capt. Jay Zeamer won two Medals of Honor, and the rest Distinguished Service Crosses, becoming the most decorated aircraft flight crew in U.S. history. This is the only book to contain the full and complete story of the mission using all available sources. After participating in the watershed Battle of the Bismarck Sea, for which the unit was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Group began gradually re-equipping with the B-24 Liberator after the decision was made to discontinue support for two heavy bomber types in the theater, thereafter diverting all B-17 aircraft resources to Europe.

Ken's Men Against the Empire: The B-17 Era tells an amazing and important story of the early air war in the Pacific, created from all available surviving unit records integrated with the stories, records and accounts of hundreds of veterans who served with the nascent unit. As Volume 4 of the Eagles over the Pacific book series, the story of the B-24 Era will continue in Volume II.

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.


Share this Product


More from this collection

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 38 28 9.25
Medium 41 29 9.5
Large 44 30 9.75
XL 47 31 10
2XL 50 32 10.25
3XL 56 33 10.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Short-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 38 28 9.25
Medium 41 29 9.5
Large 44 30 9.75
XL 47 31 10
2XL 50 32 10.25
3XL 56 33 10.5

 Long-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length
Small 38 28
Medium 41 29
Large 44 30
XL 48 31
2XL 52 32

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 20 26.5 24.38
Medium 22 27.5 24.63
Large 24 28.5 24.25
XL 26 29.5 24
2XL 28 30 23.75
3XL 30 30.5 23.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 31.5 26.5 6.38
Medium 33.5 27 6.63
Large 35.5 27.5 6.88
XL 38.5 28 7.13
2XL 41.5 28.5 7.38

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.