HARD-NOSED WARRIORS

WARREN E THOMPSON DESCRIBES THE EXPLOITS OF THE 345TH BOMB GROUP THE AIR APACHES

img_20-1_11.jpg
The 501st BS leading a raid against the airfield at Dagua on February 3, 1944. Note the large number of para-frag bombs going down. M J EPPSTEIN

Settling in at Columbia Army Air Base in South Carolina in November 1942, the trainee crews knew they had a lot to live up to. Nine months earlier, new recruits undergoing familiarisation on the USAAF’s latest bomber, the North American B-25 Mitchell, were asked to volunteer for a hazardous mission.

Those who rallied to the call became the famous ‘Doolittle Raiders’, flying B-25s off the carrier USS Hornet on April 18 on a oneway retaliatory raid on Tokyo. The air force had begun to strike back after Pearl Harbor.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.