The Boeing B-17 has come to epitomise the American war effort in Europe during World War II (1939-1945), the huge four-engined heavy day bomber taking the fight to Germany from the late summer of 1942 through to VE-Day. The primary operator of the Flying Fortress in Western Europe was the ‘Mighty Eighth’. This volume, which is the first of two dealing exclusively with the ‘Mighty Eighth’, covers the 15 Bomb Groups of the First Air Division, each of which controlled four squadrons. The evolution of the force is traced through first-hand accounts of those individuals that took part in the action.
The B-17 saw combat in the Pacific from the moment a formation of these bombers arrived at Pearl Harbor during the midst of the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack. By the end of World War II (1939-1945), SB-17 rescue craft were saving combat crews in the waters off Japan. This book reveals why, to the public, the Flying Fortress was better known than the Spitfire, the Boeing 747, or Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis. The name recognition enjoyed by the B-17 was that company’s reason for creating B-17 Steak Sauce and Osprey’s reason to round out the saga of this great wartime aircraft.