When we think about World War II bombers, we picture formations of scores of bombers, escorted and protected by fighters, flying into enemy territory and bombing the hell out of the enemy. In Europe and usually the Pacific, this was the standard approach, but some bomber squadrons flew a different kind of mission. This was the case for VPB-117 – the Blue Raiders – unique not only because its B-24 Liberators flew for the U.S. Navy and not the Army, but also because most of the Raiders’ missions entailed bombers venturing out over the Pacific, alone, to seek and destroy on long-range missions of a thousand miles out and a thousand back, often at altitudes close enough for sea spray to cloud their windows. This is their story.
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About the Author
Ed Kittrell is a journalist who holds a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University and who worked as a newspaper reporter in Chicago. He has been an independent writer for more than thirty years. He is the author, with his sons, of Down Time: Great Writers on Diving. He lives in Glenview, Illinois.