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The B-24, a WWII bomber, is nearly 70 feet long with a wingspan of more than 100 feet. You wouldn't think it would be hard to find something that big, but in September 1944 a B-24 went down with its crew of 11 in the Pacific and remained hidden there for nearly seven decades. Hylton's gripping book begins with a modern-day mystery. Did Tommy Doyle's father, who was a member of the B-24's crew, actually survive the crash and live a new life with a new family? Tommy's wife, searching for an answer, located a man named Pat Scannon, explorer, wreck-hunter, seeker of lost WWII gold, who had been looking for the very same plane for the past six years. Combining the modern-day search for the missing plane and the stories of its crew as they prepared for what would be their last flight, the book is both the tale of an exciting scientific expedition and a little-known WWII story. Recommend this one to readers who enjoyed Carl Hoffman's Hunting Warbirds (2001) and Mitchell Zuckoff's Frozen in Time (2013).--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Journalist Hylton highlights the efforts to find missing American military personnel lost during WWII in the Pacific theater. The focus of the story is Dr. Pat Scannon, an M.D. with a doctorate in chemistry who became fascinated with the wreckage of American military aircraft while on a 1993 diving expedition in the Republic of Palau. The book follows Scannon as he establishes the Bentprop project and leads repeated private expeditions to Palau to search for the crash sites of the missing aircraft. One aircraft, a WWII bomber, becomes his obsession, and Hylton's story traces Scannon's decade-long quest to find it while highlighting many different and important aspects of the search for America's lost military personnel and recreating the lives, training, and combat experience of the young crewmen who manned the lost aircraft. Hylton also describes the physiological and emotional impact that MIA status has on the surviving families of the lost men, and he details the extensive research necessary to locate the remains of the aircraft; the active role of the military's Joint MIA/POW Accounting Command; and the patience and time necessary to achieve success. It's a well-told story of WWII heroism and tragedy that demonstrates that the missing are not forgotten. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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This book has three stories: the wartime actions of the men of an American B-24 bomber that crashed in the Palau Islands in the Pacific Theater in 1944, how their surviving relatives and friends coped over the decades with their loss, and how private individuals spent years trying to locate the wreckage and discover what happened to the crew. The switching back and forth among these stories can make it hard to keep the narrative straight. Hylton (contributing writer, New York Times Magazine) writes with some poetic flair about the beauty of the islands, the terrible conditions on the ground and in the air, and the hard work of private experts such as anthropologist Eric Emery and others in the last decades, as they searched for the missing aircraft. VERDICT For those interested in World War II aerial operations and the ongoing searches for missing aircraft and crew.-DB (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.