Friendly Monster was the code name for the B-29 bomber in the pacific area during World War II. The author is John W. Cox, the commander of a remarkable flight crew and their tour of duty during the war. It starts with their training period and introduction to the state-of-the-art airplane. The crew participated in the first bombing attack on Tokyo since the Doolittle raid in 1942, then on to the end of the war. Highlighted are descriptions of the bombing,strafing and air combat the crew experienced on the missions they flew from the Marianas Island of Saipan, shortly after arriving in November 1944.
The book covers a period from April 1944 to July 1945. John Cox left the service in 1945 as a Captain with over 1000 hours flying the B-29 including 450 hours in 33 combat missions against Japan. Although the crew of the "Mary Ann" experienced some close calls and survived dangerous missions, no man on the crew was lost or wounded. A remarkable feat and a testament to the crew's professionalism and dedication. They were credited with shooting down 21 Japanese aircraft with 10 confirmed kills and the tailgunner Cpl. John Sutherland of San Antonio, Texas emerged as the Ace of the Marianas with 5 confirmed kills. The crew was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and three battle stars.
In addition to the adventures of the "Mary Ann" the book chronicles and demonstrates the capability of air power to destroy and defeat a modern empire without the need to set foot on enemy territory.