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B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI

B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review August 2012 Title B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI
Author Edward M. Young Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 9781849083416
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95

Review

With greater range and load capacity than B-17s, B-24 Liberators forged the core of Allied strategic bombing efforts against Japan in the China–Burma–India (CBI) Theater from early 1942 through war's end in 1945.

In B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI, author Edward M. Youngchronicles the dangerous Liberator missions – as well as evolving Japanese tactics against B-24s.  And Young vividly details the triumphs and tragedies aircrews experienced during actions.

For example, in early May 1943, the 9th and 493rd Bomber Squadrons (BS) attacked rail yards at Toungoo, Burma.  After successfully bombing the targets, gunners spotted three defending Ki-43 Oscars.  Though Japanese doctrine normally dictated frontal attacks from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock positions, the Ki-43s came from slightly below to avoid the top turrets.  Subsequent passes resulted in damage to five of the six 493rd B-24s with two crewmembers wounded – and two Ki-43s destroyed.

Accompanying historical photographs throughout the book, illustrator Mark Styling provides artwork detailing the color plates of B-24 variants stationed in the CBI.  Styling offers the reader examples of the creative – and oftentimes provocative! – nose art.

My maternal grandfather served as a B-24 radio operator in the 493rd BS from late 1943 through 1945 – when the USAAF widely employed P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs as fighter escorts.  His war mementos include revealing mission photos – including fascinating battle damage assessment (BDA) shots of B-24 targets.

Readers will also find Young's B-24 Liberator vs Ki-43 Oscar: China and Burma 1943(Osprey Duel 41) an ideal companion to his B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!

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