Based upon the interests of our founder and lead historian, Lawrence J. Hickey, the mission of IHRA is to document definitively and educate the public about two areas of the air war during WWII (1939-1945).
With our Eagles Over The Pacific book series, we have expanded our original focus on one Fifth Air Force B-25 unit, the 345th Bomb Group (Air Apaches), to include all B-25 units in the South and Southwest Pacific. Furthermore, we plan to see that all bomber units of the U.S. Fifth Air Force in the SWPA are fully documented historically, filling in the gaps for units that have not had their histories fully published.
To date, we either have completed or are far advanced with histories, drawing on over 50 years of research, of all four Fifth Air Force air groups that flew the B-25 bomber as well as other units that together flew the A-20, A-24, A-26, B-17, B-24 and B-26 during the WWII air campaigns in the Southwest Pacific. As much as possible these include the representative experiences of the airmen, sailors and civilians on the Japanese side woven together in the accounts of the American and Australian airmen that fought against them.
In Europe, through our Eagles Over Europe project, we have undertaken a massive effort to fully document the history of the first 16 months of the air war in Europe from September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1940. This includes the story of the participants and those effected by the action on all sides of the air war from the Polish Campaign, and continuing in the west through the so-called Phoney War (Sitzkrieg), the Scandinavian Campaign, the Western (French) Campaign, the Battle of Britain to well into “The Blitz.” This project utilizes many avenues of research not previously available for such an effort, networking many of the foremost authors, historians, researchers, photo collectors, artists, mapmakers and translators, currently from 14 different countries, into an informal group that will ultimately produce a massive and definitive, multi-volume series of books and e-publications covering both the human and technical side of the story of the air war in Europe during this period.
To date, the members of the EoE project have assembled over 50,000 photos and acquired an immense collection of research data from which thousands of pages have been translated into English from source materials in the Polish, Norwegian, French, Dutch and German languages. For the German side of the air war, Larry has acquired and translated the most thorough and complete account ever compiled for that period, some 6000 pages in length, that has never before been published in any language.
Anyone with information or who wishes to assist us with either of these projects is welcome to participate, and is encouraged to contact us with the information on the resources that they have to offer.
Lawrence J. Hickey
Born in 1944, Larry has been fascinated by aviation since his boyhood in Wichita, Kansas, where his father, Joseph, was a Project Engineer for the military division of the Boeing Company. In 1966, Larry graduated from Rockhurst College in Kansas City with a degree in History. He then spent the next year living in Saigon in the household of a top-ranking member of the Vietnamese royal family while studying the native culture and language and working as a researcher and writer for the Department of the Air Force’s Project CHECO, a branch of the Operations Analysis Directorate of HQ, Seventh Air Force. During this period, he traveled throughout Vietnam interviewing combat personnel, and frequently flew as an observer on reconnaissance missions with Forward Air Controllers. After completing several acclaimed studies on air operations in Southeast Asia, he returned to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He soon accepted a job with the Defense Intelligence Agency where he became the first analyst for the newly formed South Vietnam political desk. During the next four years, Larry worked in the DIA-staffed National Military Intelligence Center in the Pentagon, and he served in the Vietnam Order of Battle Section, the Southeast Asia Situation Room, and then as Political Analyst for North Vietnam. His responsibilities included writing articles for the daily DIA Intelligence Summary and preparing parallel items for the daily intelligence briefing for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1969, he researched, prepared and personally delivered a major briefing on enemy morale to the Chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During most of his career with DIA, he also served with the inter-agency task force known as the Vietnam Special Studies Group, which, under Dr. Henry Kissinger, produced studies on U.S. war policy in support of the Paris peace talks to end the Vietnam War. In this capacity, and at the personal direction of the President, he returned to Vietnam in 1970 for six weeks to conduct field research in the Mekong Delta for a major cease-fire planning study. In January of 1972, Larry was credited with providing the first warning within the Washington intelligence community of the forthcoming, all-out North Vietnamese spring offensive, and thereafter took the lead of reporting on it. As a result of his reputation as one of the top experts within the intelligence community on the Vietnam War, he was invited to serve as a consultant to the National Security Council Staff at White House meetings on enemy plans and operations. At the end of 1972, after a highly successful intelligence career, he left government service to become a private businessman and entrepreneur, pursuing interests in manufacturing, real estate development, writing and publishing. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Sue where he is a full time author and publisher.
Jack Fellows is the illustrator for IHRA’s Eagles Over the Pacific series. His career as an artist spans a period of over 45 years, both as a commercial artist and a painter of fine art. His intense interest in the history of the Pacific air war led to his origination of the Cactus Air Force Art Project, dedicated to the collecting and archiving of historical data relating to that period. Most of his work today illustrates military aviation in the Pacific. An artistic counterpoint to Jack’s military history illustrations is his work as a fine art painter, focusing on figurative pieces, landscapes and occasionally maritime subjects as well. Above all else, he favors the opportunity to paint landscapes in Europe, particularly around the Mediterranean. Jack was invited to show his landscape work at the prestigious Peppertree Ranch Art Show in California in May 2004.
Jack’s work is widely collected in the United States and abroad, by museums and by private collectors. He has won a number of awards over the years, including the R.G. Smith Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation Art (2004), and he is the originator and primary financial backer of the Capt. Duane Whitney Martin Vietnam Airwar Award for Artistic Excellence, awarded annually by the American Society of Aviation Artists. He was president of the American Society of Aviation Artists from 1995 to 1997, is a Life Member of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, a member of the USAF Art Program, and guest lecturer for the Museum of Flight Visiting Aviator Series. He has approximately one hundred postage stamp designs to his credit, and most of his work is available, published in a variety of formats in both open and limited edition.
For further information and to see more of his work, visit his website.
Information on our co-authors can be found here.