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"Ken’s Men Against the Empire Vol. 2" - by author Lawrence J. Hickey

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Ken’s Men Against the Empire
The Illustrated History of the 43rd Bombardment Group During World War II
Volume II: October 1943 to 1945
B-24 Era

Hardcover (464 pages), brand new

Also available, "Ken’s Men Against the Empire" Vol. 1
Volume I: Prewar to October 1943
The B-17 Era

Reviews for Ken's Men Against the Empire Vol. 1

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

"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…” ‑

"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hard-bound volume that comprises well over 400 pages and is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of previously unpublished photographs.”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

Volume II picks up the story of the 43rd Bomb Group at the beginning of November 1943, by which time the last of its B-17s had returned to the States or been turned into armed transports or VIP aircraft. While the rest of the unit’s squadrons fully ramped up operations with the B-24 Liberator, the 63rd Squadron received a full complement of new radar-equipped B-24s with specially trained crews to conduct low-level night search and bombing operations against Japanese shipping. Operating in great secrecy, and separately from the other three squadrons of the 43rd, this highly successful unit eventually ranged around the entire Pacific perimeter of east Asia, sinking or damaging large numbers of Japanese merchant ships. Meanwhile, the other three B-24 squadrons continued to fly standard heavy bombardment missions against the far-flung land targets of the Southwest Pacific Theater including New Guinea, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines, Formosa and coastal targets on the Asia mainland, until they finally reached the shores of Japan itself.

The 43rd was one of the key units participating in the famous raids on Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea during the spring of 1944, and against the oilfields at Balikpapan, Borneo during the fall. In 1945, the Group was instrumental in battering the industrial targets, ports and transportation infrastructure of Formosa to rubble. Along the way, the 43rd adopted the name Ken's Men after three famous theater leaders who were significant to the history of the unit: General George C. Kenney, commander of Fifth Air Force, Gen. Kenneth Walker, C.O. of V Bomber Command, who was lost on a 43rd Bomb Group mission over Rabaul on January 5, 1943, and Maj. Kenneth D. McCullar, one of the 43rd’s most successful early squadron commanders.

Co-authored by the former Group Commander during the B-24 era, Col. James T. Pettus, Jr., Ken's Men Against the Empire: The B-24 Era tells an extraordinary story of the second half of the Pacific War, created from all available surviving unit records blended together with the stories of hundreds of veterans. The book is in final production and will appear as Volume 5 in the Eagles over the Pacific book series. It will consist of 464 pages, a 32 page color section with dozens of rare color photos of the artwork and markings on the unit's aircraft, 32 full-color B-24 aircraft profiles that includes several pages of enlargements of unit markings and artwork rendered in near-photographic images by artist Jack Fellows.

Other books in this series:

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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          Customer Reviews

          Based on 3 reviews
          Michael F.
          An excellent reference on late war 43rd BG - recommended

          This book continues the series by Hickey and if you have any of there other volumes, you know what to expect. The book is full of information and details not easily found in other sources. The information is dense but is complimented by nice illustrations and even some color photos go with the maps, diagrams and other B&W photos. I particularly like the appendix with the planes, pilots and crew chiefs listed. I enjoy these books by Hickey and have bought all of them. I recommend them for the historian and enthusiast. The book was advertised as “signed by the author”, unfortunately, however, my copy was not signed.

          Ronald C.
          I have been looking for this book a long time, glad to have found it,

          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.

          Joseph M.
          Ken's Men

          a wonderful accounting of the pacific war. found a picture of my father which is priceless to me.