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Bomb Group (Hardback)

The Eighth Air Force's 381st and the Allied Air Offensive over Europe

Aviation > WWII WWII

By Paul Bingley, Mike Peters
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 336
Illustrations: b/w images throughout
ISBN: 9781612009605
Published: 15th September 2022


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In February 1942, a reconnaissance party of United States Army Air Forces officers arrived in England. Firmly wedded to the doctrine of daylight precision bombing, they believed they could help turn the tide of the war in Europe. In the months that followed, they formed the Eighth Air Force - an organization that grew at an astonishing rate. To accommodate it, almost seventy airfields were hastily built across the eastern counties of England.


At the heart of the Eighth Air Force were its bombardment groups, each equipped with scores of heavily armed, four-engine bombers. These Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators were soon punching through the enemy's defences to bomb targets vital to its war effort. They were crewed by thousands of young American airmen, most of whom were volunteers.


This book tells the story of just one "Bomb Group" - the 381st, which crossed the Atlantic in May 1943. Arriving at RAF Ridgewell on the Essex-Suffolk border, its airmen quickly found themselves thrown into the hazardous and attritional air battle raging in the skies over Europe.

Bomb Group follows the 381st's path from its formation in the Texan desert, to its 297th and final bombing mission deep into the heart of Hitler's Third Reich. It is the remarkable story of one group and the part it played in the strategic bombing campaign of "The Mighty Eighth."

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About Paul Bingley

Paul Bingley has worked in the civil aviation industry for over thirty years. He is the current Chairman of the Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Museum in Essex and regularly delivers talks about the airfield’s history. Paul is acknowledged as being one of the best of the new generation of Eighth Air Force historians.

 Mike Peters

About Mike Peters

Mike Peters is a retired Army Air Corps officer with more than thirty years of military service. He is now a full-time military historian and Chairman of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. Mike has published books on the Glider Pilot Regiment. 

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