by Garrett Middlebrook
Enter the cockpit and become a co-pilot with a WWII strafer bomber-pilot attacking at 20 feet. In route to the target share his fear and agony. When attack time comes observe that his mental concentration consumes his fear as he fights with 8 machine guns while bombing and maneuvering. Intelligence is his ultimate weapon. An inferno of the target is the result. Departing the target, he fights 10 Jap fighter planes in an hour-long battle. When you reach home base you will say: “I never want to relive that horrendous ordeal.” But wait! Your pilot must attack again the next day. So order the book and translate the words into real life drama!
Garrett Middlebrook served as a B-25 pilot during the last five months of 1942 and first ten months of 1943, so he barely overlapped with my uncle, Dale R. Wilson, in the 38th Bomb Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea. Even though Dale Wilson was in another Bomb Squadron in the same Group, I reached out to Mr. Middlebrook for help in learning details of what combat was like in that theater.
Between his exceptional personal history and his gracious letters, I learned as much as I could about what it was like to pilot a medium twin-engine bomber over the treacherous Owen Stanley Mountains to attack and strafe enemy targets in and around Papua New Guinea.
An outstanding close-up narration by a hero who survived extraordinary months of warfare during WWII. He was awarded:
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
2 Air Medals
My uncle lost his life there when the B-25G he copiloted was shot down off Wewak/Boram, New Guinea November 27, 1943.
This book was also useful, but looks like it’s hard to find now: A History of the 38th Bombardment Group (M) November 20, 1940-April 21, 1946 by John “Hank” Henry.