WWII Books, Magazines, Newsletters and Movies

Books and films of interest; from unit histories to general history. Many of these books contain either references or pictures of the 301st BG planes or personnel.

Guide to publications for researching the 301st Bomb Group in World War II.

{Bracketed} capital letter abbreviations used in other places on this site.

{W} = "Who Fears?" The 301st In War and Peace 1942-1979 by Kenneth P. Werrell (Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, ISBN 0-87833-025-9 Taylor Issue, Library of Congress Catalog 90-72025, First Printing 1991) (287 pages, hardbound, navy blue w/ gold lettering) This book has the first 125 pages (8 chapters) of text has 129 photos (on 9" x 12" glossy stock) dealing with the history of the Group up through 1945 with their use of B-17s. There are 12 pages of detailed Endnotes for just the first 8 chapters between pages 157 and 169. There are 8 appendices dealing with the abbreviations, aircraft/crew losses, mission chronology and summary, and tail markings between pages 172 and 192. Pages 194 thru 200 have untitled photo collages with approximately 109 of these photographs depicting B-17s or their crews. Pages 202 thru 287 are biographies of 301st veterans with an average of 5 or 6 per page, most showing a "then and now" photograph.

{F} = THE B-17 FLYING FORTRESS STORY by Roger A. Freeman with David Osborne, (Distributed in USA by Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810 ISBN 1 85409 522 6, Copyright 1998, 320 pages softbound, black book end w/white and red lettering). This book dedicates its first 69 pages to a very good general history of the development of the B-17 thru all models with specifications, and detailed serial number breakdowns. Pages 70 thru 319 give individual histories of every one of the 12,731 B-17s built. These histories give initial delivery dates and bases/or Group/Squadrons of assignments, and final fate if known. Nose art names are given if known. Pilot's last name and mission along with MACR number given if aircraft lost in combat. These will also list number of crew KIA, POW, etc. and crash location as known. There are approx. 148 B-17 photos and eleven pages of drawings. None of the photos are of 301st BG aircraft.

{N} = B-17 NOSE ART NAME DIRECTORY by Wallace R. Forman (Copyright 1996 Phalanx Publishing Co., Ltd., ISBN 1-883809-14-2, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 95-72893. 96 pages, softbound. U.S. $14.95. Phalanx Publishing, an imprint of: Specialty Press Publishers and Wholesalers, 11481 Kost Dam Road, North Branch, MN 56056; 1-800-895-4585. (White, black lettering and B&W photo on both covers). This directory has an alphabetical list of over 8,200 B-17s with some sort of name identification. The author lists the Bomb Group and Squadron along with serial number where known and also notes if he has a picture of the airplane in his collection. There are many 301st BG B-17s that are not listed in this book but where they are listed the entries are mostly correct. Pages 49 thru 64 have 32 half-page photos of B-17s, but no 301st BG aircraft are depicted.

{5W} = 5th Wing History of Aircraft Assigned by Richard E. Drain Drain's book is a listing of the 5th Bomb Wing B-17s. There are no illustrations. The book may no longer be in print, but a CD version is available currently. The data on the CD is comprehensive and is well organized. It can be quickly scanned for specifics with basic search tools. The pages for all of the 301st Bomb Group B-17s are ordered by tail number (the first "4"of all serial numbers is dropped). Aircraft names are given where known, along with a good history of dates, Group transfers, losses, and final fate. When lost in combat the last names of all crew members and their fate is listed along with mission, crash location, MACR #, etc. There are alphabetical cross-references by Aircraft Name, and listings of mission dates and targets as well.

{PS} = Pride of Seattle-The Story of the First 300 B-17Fs by Steve Birdsall, Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrolton, TX 75011-501010 (ISBN 0-89747-389-2; 64-pages softbound). This glossy stock 8-1/2" x 11" book does a nice job of telling some of the story of the B-17Fs used by the 97th and 301st Bomb Groups with serials between 41-24342 and 41-24628. These two Bomb Groups are dealt with on just 15 pages of the book but there are 16 photos of 301st BG aircraft and 2 color painted right side views on page 32.

{R} = The Raven (official newsletter of the 301st Bomb Group/Wings Association) Available for $5.00/year membership fee thru: Daniel O. Oredson, 1176 Pontiac St., Denver, CO 80220-3042. The newsletter has three issues per year including January, May, and September. A Membership Book is generally published every other calendar year (due a year late this coming year 2004 now) and is available for an additional $5.00 postage paid. The 2001 edition had 104 pages (100 of member's names, addresses, and phone numbers with Squadron affiliation. 3 pages of addresses for information sources, 1 page of E-mail addresses). By writing a letter to the Editor of the newsletter information concerning specific 301st BG personnel, particular aircraft, bases, or missions can be requested from the membership.

{H} = History of the 419th Bomb Squadron (H) 1942-1945 and 1961-1964 by Joe C. Baxley, Jr., ©1992, 214 pages, hardbound in light blue binding, 9-1/4" tall by 6-1/4" wide. Published by Gateway Press, Inc., 1001 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 in 1992. This is a good chronological history as taken from the 419th War Diary and from the existent combat folders. It is complimented with personal diary excerpts from many crewmen, crew chiefs, and other ex-419th contributors. There is a non-exhaustive index but many of the page numbers given are strangely a few pages off with no particular pattern seen for the inconsistency. Some of the tail numbers given were never 301st BG B-17s but these were probably transcription errors from the time of their original recording, or due to the very difficult to read original onion paper from the War Dairy. The only real illustrations in the book are black and white representations of the 8th, 12th, and 15th Air Force emblems across from page one. The book can be hard to find today but is well worth its usual $25.00 price. Copies may be available from the author direct:

{UHB} = USAAF HEAVY BOMBER UNITS ETO & MTO 1942-45 by Jerry Scutts Osprey Publishing Ltd., ISBN 0 85045 131 0, © 1977 (softbound, 48 pages) This book is a good short introduction to how the B-17s and B-24s were used in the European and Mediterranean Theaters with a thoughtful display of 41 photographs and 10 color art plates (one a 2-page spread 6-view of a B-17G) for the subject. The book only measures 7-1/4" by 9-3/4" and has photos of just two 301st B-17s.

RIGOR MORTIS: THE MACHINE AND HIS MEN by Robert Coalter. Softcover: ISBN 9781714727803 (8×10in, 20×25cm) 382 pages. 2020. Most aircraft of World War II had pictures of sexy girls, tributes to sweethearts, songs and home. The planes were fondly referred to in a feminine manor. That was not the case with this B-17 tail number 42-25233. He was Rigor Mortis. This is the story of Rigor Mortis and his men who flew over 120 missions from North Africa and Italy in 1943 and 1944. This sixteen month story encompasses the 301st, 2nd and 483rd Bombardment Groups of the 12th and 15th Air Forces. Order $29.95

{FFU} = B-17 FLYING FORTRESS UNITS OF THE MTO by William N. Hess Osprey Publishing Ltd., ISBN 0 84176 580 5, © 2003 (softbound, 96 pages, 9-3/4" H x 7-1/4" W x 5/16" thick). The author flew 16 missions as an aerial gunner in B-17s with the 340th BS/97th BG in 1944. This excellent book has 11 photos of 301st BG B-17s (4 from 32nd, 3 from 352nd, 1 from 353rd, and 3 from 419th Bomb Squadrons) and 10 color artist air-brushed side views, followed with 10 close-up nose art views of eight 32nd BS B-17s and one each 352 and 353rd BS ships. The text is well written and the book is nicely indexed.

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B17 Rigor Mortis Book

Read the history of one of the planes of the 301st BG.

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Military Cinema Presents
Combat film of the 301st BG in WWII on DVD.

Archival Combat Film Footage DVD of the 5th Bomb Wing includes the 301st BG.