B-29 Superfortress Combat Chronicles

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Robert Hilton
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 120 pages
Product / Stock #
Company: Squadron Products - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

This is the first of Squadron’s “Combat Chronicles” series I have had a chance to read and review. The format is a little different than most other publications from this publisher, in that it is focused specifically on the combat operations of a particular unit operating the title aircraft.

This volume focuses on the training and combat operations of the 40th Bomb Group/58th Bomb Wing operating the B-29 during WW2. The author is a veteran of this unit, and narrates his experiences starting with early Stateside training. He then progresses through early combat operations flying from India, over “The Hump”, to stage out of forward bases in China. Next, he describes the Group’s relocation to the Marianas and the final phases of the bombing campaign against Japan. Ultimately, he discusses some of the efforts to air drop supplies to POWs immediately following the Japanese surrender.

What I found most interesting about this book was that it is all presented in the words of someone who was there. The author was part of the early B-29 training program in 1943, and was involved in combat operations throughout the B-29’s WW2 career. In addition to his narrative and remembrances, he has printed excerpts from others who were there. This is all first-hand material, and makes for fascinating reading. Little snippets of life as a B-29 crewman really help personalize this information. Some harrowing descriptions of flying over “The Hump” between India and China makes one fully appreciate why eventually these missions were considered equivalent to a combat flight. Further on, the description of what one crew went through after bailing out over Siberia made for fascinating reading.

There are many photos throughout the book, although a few less than you would find in a ‘walk around’ type of publication. This is not meant to be one of those, so I was quite content with what was there. Several are from the author’s personal collection, and most likely have never been published prior to this.

If you are interested in reading about the men who flew in the B-29s, this book gives a good glimpse into their world in their own words. The author provides an interesting, moving, and informative read, written by someone one who was there.

Thanks to Squadron Products for the review copy, and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.


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