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B-29 Superfortress Combat Chronicles

B-29 Superfortress Combat Chronicles Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Title B-29 Superfortress Combat Chronicles
Author Robert Hilton Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 978-0-89747-672-0
Format 120 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.95


This is the B-29 Superfortress Combat Chronicles recently released from Squadron/Signal Publications. This title looks at the operations of the aircraft from its first roll-out of Boeing's production line through atomic bombings of Japan and from the copying of the type by the Soviet Union to create the Tu-4 Bull to the surviving warbirds like Fifi. To make the title more interesting, the author was a crewman on the B-29 from its early days assigned to the 40th Bomb Group. The coverage of the title is nicely laid out as you can see from its table of contents:

  • Testing and Training - The Battle of Kansas
  • Move to Asia: the China, Burma, India Theater
  • Bombing from Tinian
  • Postscript
  • Missions
  • 40th Bomb Group Honor Roll
  • Fifi's Story

In this title, the author has compiled numerous period photographs showing the men and machines at different points throughout this coverage including numerous target photos taken before, during, and after selected missions. The narrative covers different aspects of combat operations with the B-29 from the various operating bases. The author recalls a number of his own experiences flying as a combat photographer and has compiled numerous first-hand accounts from fellow veterans of the 40th Bomb Group. Some of those accounts include one of the crews who had to land in the Soviet Union due to low fuel and were interned (and their aircraft 'liberated') and another who was able to bail out of his burning aircraft and spend the remaining months of the war as a POW.

The print and binding quality is excellent and as the publisher's block indicates, this title was printed in the USA rather than overseas.

If you're looking for a good operational/historical reference for your library, here is one to add. Titles like this written by the veterans who were there are hard to find!

This title is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Squadron/Signal Publications for this review sample!