010429 - FIRST IN THE FIELD: The 1st Air Division over Europe in WWII
By Ron Mackay
“First in the Field” is a relevant title to describe the pioneer force destined to operate a hitherto un-tested concept in modern aerial warfare: the 1st Bomb Division. The initial period of shallow-penetration missions with a severely under-strength force of B-17s, crews and support equipment was followed by growing and finally unsupportable losses. Nevertheless from early 1944 onward it was becoming clear that what was by then the 1st Bomb Division, had held its ground, often against painful tactical and strategic odds, and in doing so had laid the foundations for the final victory of America’s bombing campaign against Hitler’s regime.
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