The frequent bombing of the beautiful medieval city of Rouen, France, caused widespread death and destruction and resentment to the Allies.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Why America Participated in the Allied Bombing of France in WWII

By Flint Whitlock

By any standard, the ancient city of Rouen, in Upper Normandy, is a historical treasure. Within its magnificent High Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral (which was portrayed in a famous series of paintings by the Impressionist Claude Monet as well as by his contemporary Camille Pissarro) is a tomb containing the heart of Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199) who had been King of England and the Duke of Normandy. Read more

In February 1944, an American B-24 on a mission to bomb a V-1 launching site crashed into a small French town. Its a crash that reverberates today.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The Last Flight of the Lonesome Polecat

By Diane Condon-Boutier

Every February 11, Rouxmesnil-Bouteilles, a tiny town in Upper Normandy situated north of the Seine River a short distance inland from the coastal city of Dieppe and some two hours from the D-Day invasion beaches, pays homage to 10 American airmen who crashed into the town center, narrowly missing the local children assembled in their schoolhouse just a few yards away. Read more

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The Bombing of Rabaul in November 1943

By Sam McGowan

In some historical circles, a mistaken impression has developed that the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 38 launched the aerial offensive on the Japanese stronghold at Rabaul, New Britain, that ultimately rendered the base useless. Read more

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

By Edmond Holcombe

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force––the oldest and largest aviation museum in the world. Read more

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Daylight Precision Bombing: Dangerous Doctrine of the Eighth Air Force

By Herb Kugel

The Eighth Air Force—the “Mighty Eighth”—became the stuff of U.S. Air Force legend when its fleets of unprotected Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” heavy bombers flew massive air raids against the heavily guarded German industrial heartland during the period between the end of January through the middle of October 1943. Read more

New Zealander John M. Jones recalls the perilous duty he performed during World War II and his capture by the Japanese.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Last of the Gilbert Islands Coastwatchers

By Bruce M. Petty & Peter McQuarrie

The coastwatching system that operated throughout the South Pacific islands during World War II was introduced to gather and report early information about the movement of enemy ships and aircraft. Read more

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Colonel Bernt Balchen’s Secret Air Force

By Patrick J. Chaisson

The Bug was in deep trouble. On a top-secret flight over occupied Norway, this ancient, war-weary C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft became the helpless target of German antiaircraft guns, all firing desperately to bring down the transport and its precious cargo. Read more

U.S. Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers rained destruction on major Japanese cities.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

B-29 Superfortress: The Plane That Bombed Japan Into Submission

By Sam McGowan

As the Japanese delegation stood on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, preparing to sign the documents that ended World War II, a large formation of Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers swooped low over Tokyo Bay as a reminder of the terrible destruction that had befallen their nation and turned Japan’s cities into ruins. Read more

An attack by U.S. bombers against the Japanese-held island of Nauru resulted in heavy damage to enemy installations.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

First Strike Against Japanese Industry

By Phil Scearce

Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber crews of the U.S. 11th Bombardment Group spent the first three months of 1943 organizing on Hawaiian airfields and flying practice and patrol missions around the islands. Read more

The Douglas C-54 Skkymaster served around the globe during World War II and accelerated the growth of peacetime air travel.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

WWII Aircraft: The Douglas C-54 Skymaster

By Sam McGowan

At the beginning of World War II, the globe seemed huge—covered by thousands of miles of ocean and uninhabited land mass, but by the time it ended everything had been brought closer together, thanks largely to the four-engine transports of the United States Army Air Transport Command, particularly the Douglas C-54 Skymaster. Read more