We Served with Honor
Memoirs Of The Men who Served the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
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General - Pages : 288 | Images : 105 bw photos, 1 map
Paperback - Date of Publication : December 2013 | Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781909384224 | Helion Book Code : HEL0387
The 91st Bombardment Group, the forerunner of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, arrived in England in September 1942 prepared for the initial bombing operations against Fortress Europe. Commander of the 305th Bomber Command, Curtis LeMay and Director of Operations, Joseph J. Preston, trained air crews in locating and identifying strategic targets in Nazi Germany. LeMay and Preston developed a dynamic working relationship and left a lasting legacy. News correspondents were trained as gunners in order to fly on the bombing missions and report the war first hand. Young college-aged crews rapidly became seasoned warriors and struggled to meet the 25-mission requirement before their return home. One of the most famous B-17s during World War II was the "Memphis Belle" which was featured in a movie Saga of the Memphis Belle. In February 20-25, 1944, known as "Big Week," the VIII Bomber Command put up 1,000 heavy bombers that flew 3,800 sorties, destroyed 75 percent of buildings bombed in Germany and downed 600 Nazi fighters. The following month, 800 bombers struck Berlin targets during such bad weather that Luftwaffe fighters never became airborne. That offensive established aerial supremacy in Europe in preparation for General Dwight Eisenhower's command of the D-Day invasion on Nazi-occupied France. The 91st was again in the thick of world events when the Soviet-backed North Koreans pushed through the 38th Parallel into South Korea. Photographic reconnaissance and mapping of the uncharted Korean peninsula became a top priority. The nation's first jet-propelled bomber, the RB-45C, led the newly designated US Air Force assigned to a detachment bound for Japan. Capable of air refueling, the RB-45C detachment made an island-hopping flight due to the time constraints to become proficient in working with tanker refueling. The 91st SRW detachments continued to perform at Forward Operating Locations in Eielson AFB, Alaska, Thule AFB, Greenland, Turkey, Libya, Morocco, Spain, England and Japan, with the same skill and security. We Served with Honor tells the history of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing from the perspective of the men who lived it. One pilot describes his Top Secret overflight of the Soviet Union's Kola Peninsula including an attack by MiG fighters. The partnership between the Royal Air Force and the 91st SRW was a unique collaboration and is described by the RAF officer who was the center of the events.