450th Bomb Group--Manduria, Italy
Shadow: A Cottontail Bomber Crew in World War II by Neil Raiford is the poignant and exciting story of a statistical anomaly, a B-24 crew that completed 50 combat missions. This crew was part of the famous 450th Bomb Group, which was nicknamed the “Cottontails” because of its white rudders. As a part of the 15th Army Air Force, they flew missions out of Manduria, Italy (in the heel of the boot) and struck strategic targets which were out of the reach of the 8th Army Air Force bases in England. The group lost 1,505 airmen in a year and a half—the equivalent of losing their effective flying strength three times over. The book’s title comes from the crew’s bomber, which in turn was named for the pilot’s black cocker spaniel that flew with them on training missions.
The book is based on dozens of interviews with the surviving crew members and their families as well as archival material. The story includes accounts of the childhoods, training, combat missions, and post-war lives of each of Shadow’s 13 principal characters. Also covered are the formation and history of the 15th Army Air Force and 450th Bomb Group.
For more info on Shadow please contact the publisher at www.mcfarlandpub.com or 1-800-253-2187 .