Book Review: Air Apaches: The True Story of the 345th Bomb Group and Its Low, Fast, and Deadly Missions in WWII

Jay A. Stout

Editor’s Note: Air Apaches: The True Story of the 345th Bomb Group and Its Low, Fast, and Deadly Missions in World War II, Jay A. Stout, ISBN: 978-0-8117-3801-9 Hard Cover, $29.95.  ISBN: 978-0-8117-6809-2 e-book.

Genre: American Personal Narratives, World War II, United States Army Air Forces, Bombardment Group, 345th, Aerial Operations, American, 1939-1945 Campaigns, Pacific Area.

With striking detail and a strong human element, Air Apaches reveals the little-known story of the 345th Bomb Group, one of the sharpest tools in the U.S. arsenal in the South Pacific in World War II, capturing the reality of flying missions and facing the challenges of jungle conditions, kamikaze attacks, and an enemy who did not adhere to the Geneva Convention.

The American 345th Bomb Group–the Air Apaches–was legendary in the war against Japan. The 345th was the first fully trained and fully equipped group sent to the South Pacific. The 345th racked up a devastating score against the enemy with machine guns and fragmentation bombs and flying as low as below 50 feet.

This was dangerous work, and the 345th lost 177 aircraft and 712 men. Airmen shot down in the Pacific theater faced drowning in the ocean, disappearing in the jungle, or torturing and beheading by the Japanese in a war of no quarter expected, no quarter given.

Air Apaches is a follow-up to Stout’s Hell’s Angels. This book reconstructs the missions of the 345th Bomb Group with an emphasis on the men who sat in the cockpits, navigated the B-25s, dropped the bombs, ran maintenance on the planes, and all who helped to win the war.  Stout worked with the surviving veterans to keep first hand accounts spot on….Carol

About the Author: Jay A. Stout is a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot with more than 4,500 flight hours and 37 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. He has appeared as an aviation and military expert on various TV and radio news programs including Fox News, Aljazeera, and NPR. He has also written Hell’s Angels: The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II, Fighter Group: The 352 “Blue-Nosed Bastards” in World War II, and The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe: The U.S. Army Air Forces Against Germany in World War II, Vanished Hero, Unsung Eagles, Fighter Group, Hornets Over Kuwait, Slaughter at Goliad, Hammer From Above, Fortress Ploesti, the First Hell Cat Ace, and To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator.   He lives in San Diego, California.

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