WWII heroics are generally a popular subject, especially at the turn of the 21st century. James Bradley's Flags of Our Fathers (his dad was one of the famous six flag-raisers at Iwo Jima) was one of the more successful titles in this category, with 29 weeks on the 2000 hardcover charts. His new bestseller, Flyboys, recounts the little-known story of a group of young airmen who flew dangerous missions over the Pacific. Nine of them were shot down, and eight were taken prisoner and never heard from again (former President George H.W. Bush was the ninth). Little, Brown's one-day laydown (September 30) was launched with the author's appearances on Imus and Today, among others. Last week, CNN aired a documentary about the Flyboys and George Bush. The author is on a 30-city tour through the end of November that includes signings at military bases. Total copies in print after six trips to press: 450,000.