Harvest of the Grim Reapers, Volume II picks up at the beginning of October 1943 with the continued destruction of the Japanese 4th Air Army at the Wewak airfield complex and the devastating raids by Fifth Air Force on Rabaul during October and November 1943, during which one of the squadron commanders won the Medal of Honor during a courageous attack against a Japanese cruiser in Rabaul Harbor. Shortly thereafter, the unit began converting to an all-A-20 outfit, and by the end of January 1944, it had relinquished the last of its B-25s for A-20G Havoc strafers. The 3rd Bomb Group, also known at times as the 3rd Attack Group, continued to wreak havoc against Japanese installations across western New Guinea, and played a key role in the raids on Hollandia during the spring of 1944. The attacks continued against Japanese targets and installations in the Netherlands East Indies, including the strategic Boela oil fields.
Late in the year the 3rd began operations in the Philippines where the unit spent the latter part of 1944 and much of 1945, much of the time providing tactical support to U.S. ground forces. These missions were interspersed with occasional attacks against shipping along the China coast, and on installations on Formosa. The last important missions of the war were conducted against Japanese targets and population centers on mainland Japan. As the war ended, the unit was re-equipping with the A-26 Invader, a plane type that the Group would eventually take to Japan as part of the Army of Occupation.
This will be Volume 9 of the Eagles Over the Pacific series and will contain a color section with 76 color aircraft profiles, plus detailed enlargements seen in other recent volumes. Both volumes contain all of the cutaway drawings, maps and appendices readers have come to expect from an IHRA publication.
Read about Volume I