Warpath Across the Pacific: The Illustrated History of the 345th Bombardment Group During World War II
By Lawrence J. Hickey
Hardcover in dustjacket, 448 pages, appendices, bibliography, and index; 48 color profiles
Published by International Historical Research Associates
Dimensions: 1.1 x 8.8 x 11.3 inches
The 345th Bombardment Group (Medium) consisted of four squadrons of B-25 Mitchells. They deployed to the South Pacific, flying their first combat mission from Port Moresby, New Guinea at the end of June, 1943. They soon began mounting several .50 caliber guns in the noses of their aircraft and specialized in low-level attacks against Japanese airfields and shipping. The Group moved to the Philippines in November 1944, and then to Ie Shima for the last month of the war.
Warpath Across the Pacific is as complete a unit history as it is possible to write. It is organized chronologically, with each mission written up in detail. Any noteworthy incidents, such as the rescue of downed aircrew, are detailed under separate headers along with the missions. The text is arranged in two columns, and photographs of the crews and aircraft mentioned are provided throughout. The 345th equipped their aircraft with cameras under the fuselage for bomb damage assessment. There are hundreds of these combat photographs reprinted in this book. These not only show the action of the missions described, but provide an unexpected wealth of documentation of the Japanese ships, aircraft, and installations. Several of these photographs are reproduced on full pages.
There are 48 color profiles in the center of the book with detailed descriptions of the individual aircraft and its history. A selection of color photographs is also included, along with four full-page paintings by aviation artist Jack Fellows. Appendices list all the aircrew killed or missing, a table listing the serial numbers and details of every B-25 ever assigned to the Group, and a discussion of the evolution of the Groups’ marking which is a boon to modelers.
This work is the gold standard for aviation unit histories. It is an invaluable reference for modelers and historians, well written and complete. It is a large book and not cheap, but worth every penny. My highest recommendation.
For anyone interested, Warpath Across the Pacific is still available here: https://irandpcorp.com/products/345bg/