Superfortress: The Story of the B-29 & American Air Power in World War II

William Yenne, Author, Curtis E. Lemay, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $18.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-07-037164-4
Drawing on Air Force and Boeing archives plus conversations between LeMay and Yenne ( Boeing ), this is an account of the military/civilian effort that brought forth in record time the second-most formidable weapon of World War II. LeMay, the first combat commander of the B-29 force and later head of Strategic Air Command, has a few churlish remarks to make about the Army's tardiness in recognizing the value of Gen. Billy Mitchell's early vision of strategic air power. He credits Gen. Henry Arnold, wartime Air Force chief-of-staff, with providing the inspiration and direction of the B-29 project. The book is an eloquent tribute to the unity of purpose displayed by a handful of Air Force officers, Boeing executives and engineers and thousands of plant workers across the country. LeMay incidentally remarks in passing that the Superfortress became operational, from drawing board to flight line, in about a quarter of the time it would take for today's equivalent. In noneuphemistic language, the general describes how he deployed his B-29s over Japan during the final year of the war. Photos. Military Book Club selection. (August)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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