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Review: Black Sunday – When Weather Claimed the US Fifth Air Force

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Reviewed by: Andy Taylor
Company: Avonmore Books

“There were lots of ways to get killed in the Southwest Pacific and weather was one of our worst hazards.” – Lightning Pilot Leroy Ross.

Author Michael John Claringbould begins his book with the following first paragraph of the Preface,

“The day of Sunday 16 April 1944 marks the biggest non-combat loss the USAAF incurred in any theater in World War II.  After a delayed morning departure more than three hundred Fifth Air Force aircraft departed to attack Japanese airfields and installations at Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea.  Not one aircraft was lost to enemy action, but over three dozen were lost to a vicious weather front.  The date quickly became known as Black Sunday within the Fifth Air Force.”


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