Two of the finest books describing air battles of the Eighth Air Force were written by navigators. Bendiner tells of the early days of the Eighth when "things were really rough", including the difficult attacks on the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt, Germany. Crosby, besides recounting flying through clouds of flak and fighters, describes the pressures on lead navigators and offers insights into styles of command.

Bendiner, Elmer, 1980, The Fall of Fortresses, Putnam' s Sons, New York, 258 p.

Crosby, Harry H., 1993, A Wing and a Prayer, Harper Paperbacks, New York, 398 p.

We owe thanks to the English historian, Freeman, for the most readable descriptions of the Eighth Air Force in action. His books describe not only the battles of the Eighth but give a marvelous description of the complex organization. The two I most admire are:

Freeman, Roger A., 1970, The Mighty Eighth: A History of the U. S. 8th Army Air Force, Doubleday, New York, 311 p.

Freeman, Roger A., 1984, The Mighty Eighth War Manual, Motorbooks International (first published in 1984 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.), 320 p.

And I'd like to recommend an anthology, which supports Aristotle's contention that poetry is more significant than history.

Stokesbury, Leon, ed., 1990, Articles of War: A Collection of Poetry about World War II, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. 

More WWII Aviation Sites

493rd B.G. Links

A page on the 493rd B.G. in Fred Preller’s webpage on the Mighty 8th Air Force

The Debach airfield of the 493rd B. G. It's now a museum.

Abbreviated history of the 493rd B.G.


Other Links

487th Bombardment Group (H) Association (many good links, too)

A Navigator's Diary (Another account of 8th Air Force combat; written by Norman Andrew at the time of the battles. We flew on some of the same dates but not to the same target.)

B-24 Best Web (Photos, data, and chat concerning the B-24, "Liberator")

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This page last updated August, 2005.