Operation Plum: The Ill-fated 27th Bombardment Group and the Fight for the Western Pacific

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Texas A&M University Press, 2008 - History - 364 pages
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They went in as confident young warriors. They came out as battle-scarred veterans, POW camp survivors

. . . or worse. The Army Air Corps’ 27th Bombardment Group arrived in the Philippines in November 1941 with 1,209 men; one year later, only 20 returned to the United States.

The Japanese attacked the Philippines on the same morning as Pearl Harbor and invaded soon after. Allied air routes back to the Philippines were soon cut, forcing pilots to fight their air war from bases in Java, Australia, and New Guinea. The men on Bataan were eventually taken prisoner and forced into the infamous Death March.

The 27th and other such units were pivotal in delaying the Japanese timetable for conquest. If not for these units, some have suggested, the Allied offensive in the Pacific might have started in Hawaii or even California instead of New Guinea and the surrounding islands.

Based largely on primary materials, including a fifty-nine-page report written by the surviving unit members in September 1942, Operation PLUM (from the code name for the U.S. Army in the Philippines) gives an account of the 27th Bombardment Group and, through it, the opening months of the Pacific theater.

Military historians and readers interested in World War II will appreciate the rich perspective presented in Operation PLUM
 

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

This book is basically two stories, the main one being the journey of Glenwood Stephenson from young man trying to make his way through 1930s America to becoming an officer in the United States Army ... Read full review

Contents

Nearing the Brink of World Conflict
1
This Rumor Has Gone Too Far
24
War Begins
51
Fighting on Bataan
79
Escape to Java
110
March and Command Changes
145
Royces RaidOvershadowed by Doolittle
174
No Mama No Papa No Uncle Sam
196
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
287
Lesson Learned
294
Twentyseventh Bomb Group Pilots Flown from the Philippines to Australia December 1718 1941
297
Royces Raid Crews
298
Commentary on the Mission of B25 4112455 by Two Former 27th3rd Pilots
302
Followup of 27th Bomb Group Pilots
304
The 27ths Wartime Legacy
311
Notes
317

Air Missions over the Coral Sea and Beyond
210
The Changing Tides of War
231
POW Camps and Hell Ships
265

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About the author (2008)

ADRIAN R. MARTIN, a retired high school teacher, is the author of three books, including Brothers from Bataan: POWs 1942-1945. He lives in Menasha, Wisconsin.
LARRY W. STEPHENSON, the nephew of Capt. Glenwood Stephenson, a participant in Operation PLUM, is the Ford-Webber Professor of Surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. A retired Army colonel, Stephenson also serves as an associate editor of a major medical journal and has written six other books and more than 300 articles

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