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Hell in the Heavens: Ill-Fated 8th Air Force Bomb Missions


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By: William N. Ness


Hell in the Heavens: Ill-Fated 8th Air Force Bomb Missions

General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold sent Brigadier General Ira C. Eaker to England in 1942 to form the 8th Air Force so as to inaugurate daylight strategic bombing over Europe. Both men were confident in the B-17, and believed they would be able to attack their targets with a minimum of casualties by German Luftwaffe.

Hell in the Heavens: Ill-Fated 8th Air Force Bomb Missions

Despite advice from the British Royal Air Force that such a campaign was doomed to fail, the initial operation took to the air on August 17, 1942. Eleven B-17s from the 97th Bombardment Group ventured forth to bomb rail yards in Rouen, France. The pilot in the lead aircraft was Major Paul Tibbets, who coincidentally would fly the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb over Japan.

Flying aboard the second lead aircraft was Brigadier General Ira C. Eaker. His presence said a lot about the confidence that was placed in the Flying Fortress to live up to its name.

This is a collection of vivid stories of the 8th Air Force bomb groups that met with disaster in WWII. Through it all, these stories tell of the deeds in which bomber crews rose to the very heights to protect, to preserve, and quite often, to die for fellow crew members.

During those days of trial and tribulation, there was one entity more important to a flier than any other: his crew.


Hell in the Heavens book: 140 pages, softbound, 30 photos, 6” x 9”.


Hell in the Heavens: Ill-Fated 8th Air Force Bomb Missions

ISBN Number: 978-1580070300

Item Number: 214

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