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Night of the Intruders (Hardback)

The Slaughter of Homeward Bound USAAF Mission 311

WWII Aviation World War Two Aviation Photo Books

By Ian MacLachlan
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781848842946
Published: 18th October 2010

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This is the full account of USAAF Mission 311 on 22 April 1944 when American bombers suffered their highest ever loss to German intruders. The German fighters followed the air armada home after the raid, picking individual bombers off on their return over Europe and then over England as the American force struggled to land. The book covers many famous USAAF, RAF and Luftwaffe units and describes the ferocious action over Europe when the Americans attacked Germany’s largest railway marshalling yards at Hamm. Packed with powerful human interest stories, history and technical details, it chronicles the mission fully from the initial planning stage to its bloody finale, untangling the facts behind what went so horribly wrong and why sixty bomber crewmen and ground personnel
lost their lives owing to intruder action.

Ian McLachlan is a renowned aviation historian and author. His other books include Final Flights and Eighth Air Force Bomber Stories. He lives in Beccles, Suffolk.

As featured in.

Aeroplane Monthly April 2016

Very well researched, covers the action from the American side very well. A fascinating read, recommended.

Air Mail

Such was the heavy loss rate amongst British and American bomber crews waging war against the fiercely defended industrial heartland of Hitler's Germany it is hard not to be awed at the consistent courage and dogged endurance displayed.
The grim story of the destruction wrought among the homeward-bound bombers of USAAF Mission 311 was first told by respected Suffork-based aviation historian Ian McLachlan in 1994, but with recent commemorations highlighting the sacrifices his decision to revisit one of the most costly disasters of the East Anglian air war is a timely one.
Like many others who survived that terrifying ordeal. Rebeles described it as a "nightmare" a no one reading McLachlan's masterly retelling of Mission 311 could possibly disagree.

'It explodes myriad myths and shoots down numerous half-truths'

Eastern Daily Press

Two bomber, buried beneath the East Anglian marshland, was the starting point for this exploration, and the author has spent a considerable amount of effort in order to capture every fact and account captured in print.
We get the compelling full account of USAAF Mission 311 on April 22, 1944 when American B-24 Liberator bombers suffered their highest ever losses to German night intruders.
This book covers many USAAF. RAF and Luftwaffe units involved and describes the ferocious action in the skies over Europe when the B-24s attacked Germany's largest railway marshalling yards at Hamm.
The text is packed with powerful first hand accounts from that night, with bomber crews struggling to get home; these are presented along with official USAAF reports and plenty of technical details of all the aircraft involved, from both sides. The entire mission's initial planning stage and on through to its bloody finale are here, as the books untangles the myths, and explains what went so tragically wrong that night and why 60 bomber crewman and ground personnel lost their lives in the Luftwaffe intruder action.
A thought-provoking book on USAAF operations that strips away the glamour of aerial combat and tells the reader how it really was, and how tragedy and bravery were a daily occurrence in Europe's skies.

Aircraft Books

On 22 April 1944, USAAF Mission 311 saw American bombers suffer their highest ever loss to German intruders – this book provides a full and compelling account of the horrific events of that day. It is the fascinating, and ultimately poignant, story of a mission going very badly wrong and the resulting deaths of more than sixty bomber crewmen and ground personnel. Here McLachlan presents some startling first-hand accounts detailing the slaughter of these American survivors of a ferocious European air-battle. Returning, battle-scarred, to seek sanctuary among their own airfields, they were mercilessly attacked by the pursuing Luftwaffe enemy. In the resulting confusion, exacerbated by the nighttime darkness, Allied defences fired upon aircraft indiscriminately, leading to the hellish vision of a flame-filled night sky being witnessed by the horrified people below. This book is brimming with powerful human interest stories plus historical and technical details which together combine to paint an all-too clear and comprehensive picture of this ill-fated mission. As well as a gripping read, it also serves as fine tribute to all those involved, and especially those lost, that day.

Lisa
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