The B-45 Tornado

An Operational History of the First American Jet Bomber


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About the Book

The North American B-45 Tornado was America’s first jet bomber and was used in a number of vital missions for nearly a decade. Drawing from declassified secret documents, this history explains the bomber’s use in strategic reconnaissance and atomic-weapon strike missions from its 1944 development to its role in the Cold War. The book includes numerous photographs and more than 100 interviews with pilots, navigators, and ground personnel.

About the Author(s)

The late John C. Fredriksen was the author of more than 20 books about military history. He lived in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Bibliographic Details

John C. Fredriksen

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4278-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

One. Wild Blue Wonder      5
Two. New Bomber for a New Air Force      21
Three. The Dawn of Jet Bombardment      40
Four. To the Yalu—and Beyond      62
Five. Atomic Interlude      81
Six. Flying Cartographers      97
Seven. NATO’s Shield      117
Eight. Distant War, Perilous Vigil      139
Nine. Cordial Collusion      162
Ten. Russia Redux      179
Eleven. On Final      198

Appendix: SAC versus TAC Bombing Competition      213
Chapter Notes      217
Bibliography      249
Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “extremely detailed and extensively researched…the first book-length study of this bomber…excellent illustrations and a large and impressive bibliography…cut above most books devoted to one air-craft…recommended”—The Journal of Military History
  • “an interesting and comprehensive study…well researched and replete with interesting facts…a must-read”—Air Force Research Institute