Selected for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Reading List
From Bill Yenne, author of the military histories Big Week and Aces High, comes the stirring true story of the Eighth Air Force in World War II.
Less than a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army formed its first air force designated to operate overseas, the Eighth. Within four months, they had set up base in England. Three months later, they were bombing German targets in occupied Europe.
The Eighth was the first bomber command on either side to commit to strategic daylight bombing. It was a major change in tactics—and the men of the Eighth paid the price in both lives and blood. But it was that very sacrifice that led the Allies to victory.
Hit the Target introduces readers to those who made the Eighth Air Force the formidable juggernaut it soon became. Men of all ranks, from General Tooey Spaatz, the hard-driving founding commander, to Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, the hero who led the first air raid on Japan, to Maynard “Snuffy” Smith, the irascible first airman in Europe to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, who survived his time with the “Bloody Hundredth,” which lost airmen at a horrifying rate, and who went on to serve as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.
The story of the Mighty Eighth is told through these men, whose careers paralleled the early history of aviation and who helped to revolutionize airborne warfare and win World War II.
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen nonfiction books, especially on aviation and military history, including Hit the Target, When Tigers Ruled the Sky, Big Week, and Aces High. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.
Praise for Big Week“The author provides a day-by-day account of what took place as German industrial facilities were targeted for attack. Yenne skillfully situates the action, pulling together various threads.…Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.”—Kirkus ReviewsPraise for Aces High“This is the greatest flying story of all time.…If there was ever an aviation tale that had all the elements of an old school Hollywood blockbuster, Bill Yenne’s Aces High is it. Wake up, Spielberg. This is the screenplay you’ve been looking for.”—Dan Roam, Author of The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas