Academic journal article Air Power History

New History Mystery

Academic journal article Air Power History

New History Mystery

Article excerpt

Test your knowledge of air power history by trying to answer this quarter's history quiz. Since the goal is to educate and not merely stump readers, you should find the multipart question, challenging but not impossible. Good Luck!

This August marks the anniversaries of two milestone events of American strategic bombing during World War II: the first American bombing mission over Europe and the first (and only) time atomic bombs were dropped in anger. In both cases, very few bombers were involved in the mission but both represented significant firsts in American airpower.

What was the target for that first American bombing mission in August 1942? This pilot flew both the first American bombing mission in the European Theater and the first dropping of an atomic bomb? For our readers who love nose-art, what were the names of the B-17 and B-29 flown on the two missions. For the real detailed-oriented readers: while a last minute aircraft change prevented these two aviators from flying the first American bombing mission with the pilot in our second question, they flew with him on the mission to drop the first atomic bomb (the three are pictured here on Tinian in '45).

Go to page 61 to learn the answers.

History Mystery Answer

On August 17, 1942, the 97th Bomb Group (shown flying in formation at right) conducted the first American strategic bombing mission over Europe when twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed the Rouen-Sotteville Railyard in France. …

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