Friday, June 10, 2016

666 (2016 #21). Involuntary

by Andrew G. Anderson and Chester L. Blunk

I purchased this book partly for my father, who also flew B-26 Night Intruder missions over Korea, in a different squadron.  The 731st Bomb Squadron, originally established during World War II, was reactivated in August 1950 for combat duty in Korea.  The men in the unit had been in the Air Force Reserves, and thus their recall was involuntary.  It was also the name of one of the planes flown by one of the authors.

This squadron was the first to fly the "Night Intruder" bombing missions in Korea, nighttime low-level forays to bomb trains, truck conveys, and other targets of opportunity.  By the time my Dad arrived in Korea in October 1952, the 731st had been inactivated for over a year.

This book is full of some great stories and memories about Night Intruder missions as well as life on base.  I thought the description on page 105 of the navigator (my dad's job) was particularly apt:

He literally had a front row, orchestra seat in the bombardier's glass nose, sitting out in front of the whole airplane.  That vantage point also at times provided some terrifying and apprehensive moments.  It was rather like being in a fish bowl attached to the front seat of a roller coaster.

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chester Blunk wrote a book called Every Man a Tiger, published in 1982.  It forms the basis of this book, along with chapters from a collaboration between the two authors on their squadron history, as well as chapters by retired Air Force Reserves Captain Andy Anderson, and one chapter full of memories from other squadron members.  It's not clear who wrote what, and I think the flow of the book suffers somewhat for that reason, but it is still a most worthwhile read.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[I purchased this book, and will pass it on to my father to enjoy.]

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