The series follows the missions of the fictitious 918th Bomb Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF), equipped with B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, stationed at Archbury, England (a fictitious air base). For the first season, many of the characters from the book and movie were retained, including Brigadier General Frank Savage, Major Harvey Stovall, Major Cobb, Doc Kaiser, and General Pritchard, albeit played by different actors than in the motion picture. In addition to these characters, several other infrequently reappearing characters were introduced, including Captain (and then Major) Joseph "Joe" Gallagher, who appeared in two episodes. - Wikipedia
Golden Boy Had Nine Black Sheep
General Savage believes that Gallagher, part of a military family, is too quick to abort missions at the first sign of engine trouble. Savage rides Gallagher hard, assigning him a crew of slackers and misfits and ordering Gallagher to paint the name "Leper Colony" on his plane. Gallagher turns his crew is to an efficient outfit but he despises Savage and wants to do anything to get a transfer.
Follow the Leader
After another failed air strike, Gen. Savage devises a new tactic: "bombing the leader," i.e. having all his bombardiers drop their explosives where his keenest eyed airman, Lt. Mellon, does. When the tactic wipes out a Dutch school instead of the target, Savage's superior Wiley Crowe balks at letting him try again.
The Men and the Boys
General Savage decides to court martial a pilot, Captain Ritchie, who disobeyed a direct order and left the bomber formation to protect a friend, Lt. Lockridge, and his crew who have bailed out of their crippled B-17. Because everyone else considers Ritchie a hero, Savage's severe action instigates a fall in morale and hostile feelings among his men.
The Sound of Distant Thunder
General Savage gets a new bombardier, Lt. Lathrop, a goofy, ungainly kid, who just happens to have a knack for putting the bombs precisely on the target. After Lathrop saves his life, Savage takes a strong interest in the young man and starts pushing him to improve with the goal of acquiring command abilities, but Lathrop is resistant because of his good-natured but naive outlook on life.
The Climate of Doubt
When an old flame, who happens to be a member of the French Resistance, shows up in England asking for help, General Crowe concocts a bombing mission to show American support for the Underground movement. Because of the limited strategic value of the target, however, he can't get approval as a stand-alone operation, so he quietly tacks it on as a secondary target to another mission, much to Savage's consternation.
Faced with mounting casualties and aircraft losses, General Savage devises a new tactic for protecting his formations by removing bombs from some of his planes and outfitting them with heavier guns and more ammunition - dubbed Operation Porcupine. Before he can implement the new plan, however, he receives a visit from Senator Johnson, who is not only vehemently biased against the airwar strategy, but also holds a personal animosity toward Savage.
On his final scheduled mission, Major Temple, a good friend of General Savage, is shot down and captured by the Germans along with four of his crew. The commander of the rocket factory that was the target of the raid decides to keep Temple and his cohorts at the facility to dissuade further attacks until he can relocate to a safer site.
The Hours Before Dawn
Returning to his base with vital information about a pending mission, General Savage is forced to take cover from a Luftwaffe bombing raid in the home of an attractive widow with a frivolous attitude and a serious self-esteem issue. As the raid ends, he prepares to resume his trip, only to be blocked by a German airman shot down during the attack.
Appointment at Liege
While touring the States, Major Denver, an exceptional pilot, finds out that his entire crew has been killed in action by anti-aircraft fire over the German occupied city of Liège in Belgium. When he returns to the 918th, it is with a burning resolve to exact vengeance against the Nazis at Liège for destroying the only "family" he has ever known.
Suffering from fatigue, General Savage is ordered to take leave and decides to pay a visit to sunny Scotland. On his way, he repeatedly bumps into a female British officer, Ann Macrae, who is returning to her home - accidental encounters that become increasingly awkward. Naturally, their animosity slowly turns to grudging tolerance, and then to fondness on the way to true affection.
Here's To Courageous Cowards
Corporal Lawrence, a mild-mannered desk clerk, stows away aboard a B-17 to try his hand as a gunner and actually turns out to have a good eye. Major Morse, the pilot and group commander when Savage isn't flying, is so impressed, he urges Lawrence to get accelerated training and become a full time crew member. To his dismay, Lawrence balks at the offer, and Morse subsequently learns that he was a conscientious objector before he enlisted.
Soldiers Sometimes Kill
Scotland Yard suspects Gen. Savage of murdering a model, when his lighter is found in her flat and he claims amnesia after being felled in a Luftwaffe raid on London. Savage also seemed pretty bombed himself from his night out, but instead of resting up on base eating bonbons or lawyering up, he returns to Berkeley Square to cooperate with the bobbies.
While on assignment to the 918th, reporter Clifford Moran is certain that Sgt. Driscoll, an exceptional gunner, is actually an accused murderer who disappeared in the States years before. Desperate for qualified crewmen, General Savage is unconvinced of Moran's allegation and demands concrete proof.
An Act Of War
Under heavy pressure to find a well concealed target in France, Savage flies a stripped down B-17 (no bombs, guns, or crew) on a desperate photo-reconnaissance mission. After he is shot down, he is discovered by a Frenchman who tries to kill him, but Savage turns the table, purely in self-defense, and dispatches his attacker.
Those Who Are About To Die
Savage's elite squadron is picked for a dangerous, top secret bomb run, but his men start to crack waiting for fog to lift over the English Channel, while they are confined to base. One of his best pilots, Lt. Lockridge, is recovering from hepatitis, waiting to complete his 25th mission, which will get him sent back to the U.S. Gen. Savage, the medical officer, and the nurse who loves Lockridge debate: is Lockridge malingering, pretending to be A-OK, or is he too ill to fly on the mission in which 1/3 are expected not to come back from?
In Search Of My Enemy
Due to illness and injury, including his own bum knee, General Savage finds himself short of qualified pilots to lead bombing missions. Help arrives in the person of Major Peter Gray, a highly experienced man with just the right credentials, but also some lingering pains from his own earlier mishap. Complications arise when Savage discovers that Gray's wife, Ann, is his former fiancee and that he still has strong feelings for her. Stressed by the awkward situation, he assigns Gray to command a mission that is supposed to be a milk run, only to discover too late that the Luftwaffe is laying in wait. The mission turns into a slaughter, and though he survives to return, Gray is convinced Savage is trying to get him killed so he can have another chance with Ann.
Lt. Kane is a dashing young film star who has completed his 25th mission and is ready to rotate back to the States and his movie career, when Gen. Savage, short on crew, asks him to fly one more mission. During the flight, Kane suffers severe burn damage to his face. Confronted with the prospect of suddenly being "ugly", he loses his composure and retreats into a cocoon of self-pity. Savage feels responsible and tries anything to rekindle Kane's confidence, not realizing the true source of his resentment.
Every series deserves at least one good spooky episode, and this is it for 12o'H. The Lorelei is a bomber that returns from a mission and lands intact, but with its entire crew dead. Gen. Savage assigns the plane to his new 2nd-in-command, Col. Royce, who he's supposed to evaluate for assignment as a group commander. Royce is a highly-experienced, decorated, and well-liked pilot with one apparent flaw; he's decidedly superstitious, and he's just been handed command of a Flying Dutchman that seems to have a mind of its own. The Twilight Zone visits the 918th.
Faith Hope And Sgt Aronson
Gen. Savage returns from a mission mortally wounded, requiring a delicate operation to remove shrapnel endangering his heart; an operation Dr. Kaiser doesn't feel confident to perform. While waiting for a specialist, Savage is placed in a ward next to Sgt. Aaronson who has just lost his lifetime friend to battle wounds and is also quickly losing his faith in God. Savage tries to talk him out of his closing shell, but the Sergeant slips deeper into melancholy, that is until he meets someone who could use a little of his disappearing faith.
To Heinie With Love
General Savage gets a sharp new navigator for the Picadilly Lily, Lt. Kurt Muller, but he starts out a bit cool to his crew-mates' efforts to welcome him into the fraternity. They soon learn why when, quite accidentally, they discover that his father was a member of the American Nazi Party prior to the war. Even Savage is disturbed by this revelation, but he's willing to live with it because of Muller's proficiency. Things get much worse, though, when Muller makes a navigational error that ruins a mission and costs the life of the bombardier. And the situation threatens to explode when it is further revealed that Muller might have been able to save the man's life.
Gen. Savage is shot down over the North Sea between England and Nazi-occupied Norway. He manages to make it to a life raft only to find he's sharing it with a downed German fighter pilot, Col Dieter. Savage has an emergency radio and Dieter is wounded, but he has the only gun in the raft, the current is pushing them toward Norway, and Allied search-and-rescue operations are seriously hampered by foul weather. For a few long hours, the war is reduced to its most basic equation, man versus man.
Lt. Paul Stiger is a top-notch pilot, and because he comes from a poor background and believes he has a meager future, he is also fearless to the point of being foolhardy. His audacity makes him the perfect candidate for a daring, potentially suicidal mission to bomb a German dam in a solo attack flying nothing more than a P-51 fighter plane. While he accepts the mission with his usual cavalier attitude, a winning lottery ticket makes him a rich man overnight - changing his whole outlook in the process. His new lust for the good life threatens to undermine the heedless courage he'll need to carry out the plan.
A pilot's worst nightmare - buried underground with no guarantee of ever seeing the open sky again. Gen. Savage and a group of Londoners are trapped in a cellar during an air raid, while the only man who knows they are there is wounded and incoherent. Savage has to deal with an elderly widow facing true fear for the first time, a young coal miner with a phobia about being buried alive, a charlatan confronted by the lies behind his life, and a girl about to become an unwed mother. Oh, and there is one other occupant of this hell under earth - an unexploded, ticking time bomb.
End Of The Line
Joe Gallagher returns to the storyline of the 918th with a promotion to Major. Wracked by guilt for the death of a friend who took his place on a mission, Gallagher volunteers for a dangerous assignment to support commandos deep behind enemy lines. He also accepts responsibility to notify the intended wife of the dead man, an assignment that may prove even more dangerous as she turns out to be a manipulative schemer bent on snaring him in her web of deceit.
Espionage casts a dark shadow across the 918th. The Nazis try psychological warfare by singling out Gen. Savage for assassination and then broadcasting a warning about the plot through radio propaganda with clues on how and when it might happen. The tactic works to a degree as suspicion runs rampant on the base, and the General's ability to do his job effectively is threatened. The question; is it just psychological, or is there really an assassin stalking Savage?
Mutiny At 10,000 Feet
After returning from a rough mission, Gen. Savage reacts harshly (possibly on purpose) to a pilot that has cracked under the pressure. Lt. Kerr, a conniving opportunist looking for a way out of the fighting, sees his chance and concocts a scheme to methodically convince his fellow crew members that Savage is also cracking up. As co-pilot, that would leave Kerr free to take control of the Picadilly Lily and fly her to neutral territory, effectively taking them out of the war.
While preparing for a top priority mission, Gen. Savage replaces a sick crewman with a hotshot gunner, only to discover too late that the man has a bad reputation as well as a negative attitude. Joe Waller is a washed-out pilot trainee who takes out his resentment on his fellow crew members. The resulting friction threatens the integrity of the crew, even before Waller is forced to replace the fatally wounded bombardier, making him the most important man in the entire mission.
The Cry Of Fallen Birds
An English Lady fights Gen. Savage's mission to bulldoze her ancestral home, to clear the 918th's flight path. After Savage's own bomber almost crashes into the manor house, he confronts Lady Diana directly, but beats a humiliating retreat after her only servant, an old maid, fells him with a broom. The single, always testy commander becomes a jumble of mixed emotions because the never-wed Lady Diana's the last of her line, gorgeous, and housebound with fright as her country defies the constant Luftwaffe blitzkrieg.
V For Vendetta
Gen. Hoagland, a strictly by-the-book desk jockey, visits the 918th to evaluate Gen. Savage's performance, but he arrives with a headstrong bias because Savage has a reputation for improvised tactics to deal with the randomness of war, as well as an apparent obsession with an especially dangerous target deep within Germany. Sparks fly from the moment Hoagland lands hellbent on getting Savage fired. In an effort to show Hoagland the vagaries of combat, Savage invites him to tag along on a mission. And then the unthinkable; Hoagland is killed in a manner that casts suspicion on Savage. If the looming inquiry is not enough of a distraction, Savage also has to deal with a mentally unstable pilot who has lost confidence in himself and his commander, and may provide information that could cast a very dark shadow on the investigation.
Gen. Savage's luck has finally run out. His bomber is shot down over enemy territory and he and three crewmen are captured. They are shipped to a POW camp run by a crack Luftwaffe officer, Col. Max Richter, who has never had a successful escape against his record, as the crowded prisoner cemetery attests. Richter is delighted to see Savage arrive as he looks forward to a lively battle of wits with the renowned American. But this will be a fight to the death, as Richter is quick to use deadly force to protect his unblemished record, and Savage thinks he has the perfect plan to outsmart the cunning German.
Thanks to a carefully planned diversion, Savage and several others are able to effect a successful escape from the prison camp, even using Col. Richter as a hostage to make good their getaway. However, their effort to flee Germany takes an ominous turn when Richter is wounded in a shootout with pursuing soldiers. If the escapees leave him behind alive, he will give away their plans, but now he appears to be too badly hurt to travel and Savage's chivalry precludes the most obvious alternative. With a definite strategy in mind, and help from the local underground, Savage must find a way to implement his plan without allowing Richter to become a liability.
After flying a desk in Washington for the first months of the war, Col. 'Pappy' Hartley, a decorated fighter ace of the First World War, arrives in England. He also happens to be one of Gen. Savage's most revered flight instructors from his training days. With the formation of a new bomb group needing an experienced commander, Savage is only too pleased to recommend Pappy as a candidate for the job. Full of freewheeling fighter pilot blood coursing through his veins, Pappy chafes at the regimentation of bomber duty. Blinded by his admiration for his mentor, Savage wrestles with the growing realization that Pappy is not cut from the right cloth, but is he too late to prevent a calamity?
Loneliest Place In The World
When Gen. Savage's plane is shot down by a German Trojan horse (a captured B-17) pretending to be a straggler, Joe Gallagher, by now a colonel, takes over temporary command of the 918th. As a reluctant candidate for permanent status, he must face the withering scrutiny of General Britt, as well as his own feelings of inadequacy. As if that's not enough to handle, he also has to deal with Sgt. Komansky, a resentful and defiant former member of Savage's crew, and a burgeoning romance with Mlle. Arnais, a French journalist. And that dreaded Trojan horse is still lurking out there, triggering dangerous suspicion and ready to claim another unsuspecting victim.
Rx For A Sick Bird
Something nefarious is afoot in the 918th. Stricken by a series of mechanical mishaps that have already cost several planes, Gen. Savage's group is tasked with ferrying a beautiful spy to a parachute drop over Nazi-occupied Poland. Once again, the bomber assigned the mission is struck by gremlins that bring her down with the loss of a popular pilot and co-pilot, but the spy survives for another try. With this latest disaster, tensions between the air crews and ground crews explode into mayhem. But evidence starts to appear that indicates the miscues may not be accidental, and suspicion runs rampant through the base, endangering the spy's mission and the confidence of the troops.
Then Came The Mighty Hunter
New recruits arrive at the 918th, and one of them, a young gunner with a stellar training record, Cpl. Steve Corbett, is chafing at the bit to get into combat so he can kill some "krauts". On his first training mission, however, he panics when his gun jams, and Sgt. Komansky steps in to settle him down and teach him the ropes, which pleases Col. Gallagher because it is the first time Komansky has shown anything but a "me first" attitude. Unfortunately, Corbett's actions become even more erratic in subsequent missions, leading to the unearthing of a secret that may embarrass the Army Air Corps if it becomes general knowledge. And all of this on the eve of a particularly tricky mission on which Corbett could be a major asset.
Lt. Josh McGraw, a boyhood friend of Col. Gallagher, arrives at the 918th with his crew and bomber as replacements. Gallagher is glad to see him, but McGraw pulls some reckless stunts because he has always felt overshadowed by Gallagher and wants to make a name for himself. As his exploits grow to ever more dangerous and defiant levels, Gallagher struggles with how to handle his old friend and still get his missions accomplished. But this only seems to inflame McGraw's resentment and rebellious attitude even more.
As part of a brand new strategy called "shuttle bombing", the 918th lands in North Africa at the end of the first leg of the flight seriously short on fuel. Unfortunately, they are forced to use an airfield that has only just been liberated from the Germans by a motley group of Allied units commanded, by chance, by Col. Gallagher's older brother, Preston. Now the Nazis are determined to take the field back in a massive counterattack. Not only are Preston's forces badly outnumbered and out-gunned, but he is suffering from battle fatigue and on the verge of a breakdown. To make matters worse, he has commandeered his brother's fuel for his own plan to retreat, leaving Joe's planes and his mission in grave danger.
The tables may be turning in the air war in Europe. The P-51 has arrived, with the promise of providing escort to the B-17s all the way to the heart of Germany. The first 18 are assigned to Gallagher's 918th, but his gunners manage to accidentally shoot one down on the very first mission. This sets a very bad tone between Gallagher and the fighter commander, Col. Troper, who are thrown together to make the new system work. Troper, already an ace with 22 kills, chafes at the need to protect the bombers at the cost of being able to hunt down the Luftwaffe fighters, and his resentment builds to a dangerous and destructive intensity.
Show Me A Hero
Sgt. Komansky lands Col. Gallagher's plane full of wounded crew members after Gallagher is incapacitated with a concussion. Komansky is now up for a Silver Star and a possible promotion. The ambitious Susan Nesbit wants to turn Komansky into a hero to boost her journalistic career. Komansky, an orphan, is having trouble coping with the sudden attention. Things don't get any easier as Komansky and Nesbit began to fall for each other.
Runway In The Dark
On a practice for night mission, they are being tracked by Vendry's unit They change course and evade successfully but "Chub" has to correct as he was off target. Chub is distracted because of his girl Kitty. On the actual night mission into Norway to pick up legendary resistance leader Arn Borg, they are told to look for the King Frederick light. It seems to be a trap as the Germans are waiting. The plane gets shot at lands and picks up Borg who brings his son Christian back with him. Gallagher is angry. Backs at base, Borg's map is impossible to read. Gallagher is ordered to fly another reconnaissance mission. Borg runs away so they decide to take Christian to show them the target. Borg comes back and flies the mission. They bomb what seems to be a heavy water storage facility and the mission is successful. Borg goes back to Norway.
I Am The Enemy
A German-born U.S. bomber pilot insists on flying until every Nazi is dead or cowering. Colonel Gallagher despises his pilot Major Kurt Brown's disdain for crewmen, and growing fanaticism, but needs Brown's skills, while General Britt wants the Iron Major to head up a division. When Gallagher asks Brown to escort a British flyer's grieving widow home, the increasingly paranoid Brown sees it as a manipulative tactic by his commander. Brown's repressed fears begin to crack his defiant exterior.
Grant Me No Favor
The 918th is being chewed to pieces while attempting to bomb a target in Norway so secret, even Joe Gallagher doesn't know what it is or why it's so important. In fact, in it's latest try, the mission commander, Col. Christie, decides to abort and turn back only 4 minutes from the target after losing 8 out of 21 bombers, with 4 more heavily damaged including his own. Infuriated by the excessive losses and secrecy surrounding the missions, Joe alienates his superiors when he aggressively defends Christie against a looming court martial. To the rescue, possibly, rides his father, Lt. General Gallagher, who is hellbent on getting his son his first general's star. But Joe is in no mood to discuss promotion with his friend and the reputation of the 918th teetering on the edge of oblivion.
Storm At Twilight
The XO, Harvey, and Lieutenant Colonel Rogers, the 918ths acting commander, watch the latest mission come back very chewed up and missing at least 6 six planes. Harvey feels responsible. Sandy hands him a telegram, his son is an MIA. Harvey goes to see General Britt and requests to go back on flying status. He gets an age waiver. Gallagher comes back and is furious with Harvey. He passes his physical by memorizing the eye chart. Gallagher puts Harvey through the wringer but Harvey passes his flight test. On the mission to bomb the marshaling yards at Antwerp, they make the run then get attacked by Bf-109's.
We Are Not Coming Back
The 918th Bombardment Group bombs a target in Wesselhaven, Germany and evade Nazi fighters by flying south into North Africa on the first leg of a shuttle raid. Luftwaffe Colonel Falkenstein, enraged by the American's new tactics, takes four fighters after Col. Joe Gallagher's group. In the meantime, Gallagher's plane has developed engine trouble and is forced to temporarily land in Yugoslavia, hopefully to repair two damaged engines. On the ground after a harrowing landing, Gallagher and his crew are captured by a menacing band of Yugoslavian Partisans.
The Jones Boys
Lt. J.D. Jones is a pilot with a serious problem; with each mission he flies he loses more of his self-confidence and composure. Finally, he causes his bomber to crack up on takeoff, killing or injuring several members of his crew, including his severely wounded co-pilot. His flight engineer, Sgt. Chapman, gets into hot water over black-market trading in weapons, and he needs an alibi. Chapman convinces J.D. to cover for him in return for shifting the blame for the crash on the comatose co-pilot. J.D.'s older brother, Frank, at first protective, becomes disillusioned with J.D.'s deceit to the point of washing his hands of the matter entirely.
Between The Lines
On a mission to transport two generals with important secret information pertinent to the Normandy invasion, Gallagher's bomber is forced down in the no-man's land between German and Russian battle lines. Hampered by a severely wounded General Stace and his aide, Sgt. Trask, who appears to be afraid of everything including his own shadow, Gallagher hunkers down in a bombed out church until they can make good an escape. Unfortunately, the Germans return to the village, and Gallagher has to find a way to slip past them with the vital info to reach the Russian lines.
Limping home on two engines, Col. Gallagher is trying to reach the English Channel to safely dump his bomb load before landing. Unfortunately, a German fighter attack triggers the bomb release early, with one finding its way onto an occupied French town that is key in helping downed Allied fliers escape to England. The explosion kills the leader of the local resistance group, angering townspeople into cooperating with the Germans. It also injures the son of the leader's daughter, who brings him to England for treatment...and to find the man responsible for the bombing and exact vengeance.
On the way back from a mission, a mentor of Joe Gallagher's, Colonel Gus "Pappy" Wexler is flying as an observer. Gallagher asks Fowler to let Wexler fly in the co-pilot seat. They are attacked by ME-109's and Joe is wounded, Pappy takes over calling Gallagher "Bernie". At HQ General Pritchard asks Harvey Stovall's opinion of Wexler. General Britt is away in Washington and if he is not back, Pritchard will be looking for a new Wing Commander. He is thinking of Wexler or Gallagher. Gallagher is on the sick list so Wexler becomes acting Group Commander, and Gallagher the acting Wing Commander. Wexler wants things run by the book. On the next mission, he takes 3 planes and turns too early and aborts. He calls his Bob Fowler, his co-pilot "Bernie", and when Sandy questions him, Wexler orders him to stand down and report to the Flight Surgeon when he is back. Later in the Star & Bottle, the pilots celebrate with Wexler and he makes a good show of it.
The Slaughter Pen
With Allied bombing operations stymied by mysteriously improved German radar capabilities, Col. Gallagher becomes involved with a multi-national, multi-service commando mission aimed at knocking out the enemy facilities and stealing the technology for study. The undertaking is put at grave risk, however, by a combination of poor coordination between the different units involved, Nazi spies, and the reluctant participation of a key expert, Captain Deel, who happens to be a problematic acquaintance of Gallagher's from his past. And now Deel is having a fling with the sister of an important British officer involved in the task who is not at all happy about it.
Col. Gallagher's plane is shot down, and he parachutes into Switzerland. As a neutral party in the war, the Swiss are obligated to intern Gallagher for the duration, but he has important information about a vital target, and so American agents direct him to the French resistance to get him to the English Channel to safety. However, his escape is complicated by the tag-along of the daughter of one of his contacts who has been shot by the Nazis, and a German deserter trying to evade being executed by his own troops or by the French who still see him as the enemy. The question now is whether the Underground can deliver Gallagher, and whether he can trust everyone who seems to be on his side.
Which Way The Wind Blows
Weather plays havoc with the 918th in their attempts to disrupt German naval operations based in Hamburg, forcing multiple aborts and reducing accuracy even when they can glimpse the target through overcast skies. Badly needed help arrives in the form of a meteorologist from the States with the expertise to more accurately predict weather conditions at the target. As it turns out, the meteorologist turns out to be a rather attractive woman. The combination of Gallagher's views of the weather as an enemy, his sexist condescension to her despite her abilities, and his overactive libido, threaten to undermine her efforts. Her panicked reaction to air combat doesn't help matters much either.
Lt. Wilson, a young, inexperienced fighter pilot, is so eager to get his first kill and fit in with his flying mates that he manages to shoot up Gallagher's plane while chasing an enemy fighter. Gallagher is willing to chalk it up to youthful exuberance and let the matter drop, but Sandy takes it personally and makes Wilson's life miserable. To make up for it, Wilson volunteers for a dangerous mission and ends up saving Gallagher's life at great peril to his own. This makes him an instant hero, especially in Sandy's eyes. It also leaves him craving even more attention, but at what risk.
Back To The Drawing Board
Frustrated by heavily overcast skies that make precision bombing impossible, the Allies are at wit's end, until Dr. Rink arrives with a new, top secret technology enabling them to "see" through the clouds: airborne radar. The first missions employing the device are wildly successful, especially since the Germans cannot effectively intercept the bombers with fighters or anti-aircraft because of the cloud cover. Unfortunately, the Germans quickly devise a counter-measure that actually uses the signals from the device to trace the bombers, allowing them to pinpoint the Americans with deadly accuracy. Only Dr. Rink has the knowledge to turn the tables once again, but he is virtually catatonic at the apparent failure of his technology.
Major Parsons has apparently just completed his 25th mission, making him eligible to be rotated back to the States, out of the fighting, something he celebrates with great relish. However, Gallagher has formulated a plan to knock out an exceptionally difficult target, and it requires a pilot with qualifications that match Parson's to a tee. The Major is definitely not inclined to volunteer with a guaranteed return to safety in hand, especially since the assignment has the earmarks of a suicide mission. No amount of persuasion budges him, that is until General Britt discovers a technicality that leaves him at 24 completed missions, instead of 25.
Capt. Bradovich arrives at the 918th as a replacement pilot. He immediately gains a reputation as an arrogant, by-the-book officer who has no interest in making friends or participating in the camaraderie of the Group. His dubious standing is seriously worsened when he is apparently the only survivor after his bomber is shot down. As it becomes harder to find crewmen willing to fly with him, Col. Gallagher must get to the bottom of Bradovich's exclusionary attitude or risk dangerously undermining the morale of his command.
After 49 successful missions, Angel Babe is the Grande Damme of the 918th bomber fleet, and to some like her flight engineer, Sgt. Willets, she even seems to have a soul (and mind) of her own. Her endurance has earned her the label of good-luck charm to the men of the Group. Upon completion of her 50th mission, the Army has decided to retire her from active service and return her to the States for a life of leisure as a recruiting icon. But Angel Babe seems to have other ideas, as she suddenly develops a multitude of mechanical ailments that thwart that final-mission goal. Not only does this strange turn of events recast her as an albatross, it also casts a shadow of suspicion over Willets due to his insistence that she's not ready to withdraw from combat.
While returning from a planning session in Scotland, Col. Gallagher's plane is shot down over the North Sea. He ends up in a rubber raft along with the only other survivor, Capt. Powell, a rich kid who happens to be a pilot Gallagher drummed out of the 918th because of a propensity to avoid danger. Now they wait out efforts by Allied rescue units to find them. Bad luck intervenes, however, and they are picked up by a German U-Boat. Surprisingly, Capt. Wessel, commander of the sub, treats them with gallantry and returns them to the island where he found them. Unfortunately, they soon discover that his intentions were far less than honorable as they become the bait in his trap.
The Hollow Man
Lt. Bolen returns to the 918th after escaping from a German prison camp where he was brutally interrogated by the Nazi SS for five months. Despite being given the opportunity to return to the States due to his ordeal, he insists on returning to active duty as a pilot and is promoted to the rank of Captain. He also has valuable information about a target that the Allies keep missing, and so he is included in a risky mission to pinpoint the plant for the rest of the Group. While training for the mission, however, the psychological damage from his torture contributes to a midair collision that kills the crew of another bomber and members of his own crew. The guilt of his actions combined with the emotional scars from his internment threaten to destroy his sanity and gravely endanger the vital mission.
Cross-Hairs On Death
Thomas Carpenter, a pilot who washed out of flight training and was subsequently dishonorably discharged from the service for insubordination, finds his way to England as a civilian and proceeds to infiltrate the 918th and masquerade as a captain. Desperate for replacements, Gallagher puts him to work as co-pilot on several missions to test his mettle while waiting for confirmation of Carpenter's status that will never come. Carpenter is eager to command his own bomber before his ruse is discovered, but his impatience keeps his evaluator, Capt. Perry, from recommending him. As his veil of lies begins to tear apart, he becomes ever more desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his mysterious goal.
Day of Reckoning
The 918th gets a bitter taste of its own medicine as the Germans carry out a surprise bombing attack on the base at Archbury. During the raid, Capt. Archer, the Group Chaplain, loses his sweetheart and proceeds to kill a defenseless enemy parachutist, leading him to a serious loss of faith. Meanwhile, another trio of Germans, captured after their plane goes down, hatches a plot to escape and complete their original mission - blow up the Group's ammunition depot.
Employing a new fighter interceptor strategy based on concentration and coordination, the Germans are taking a frightening toll on American bomber operations. To add insult to injury, they taunt the frustrated flyboys with radio broadcasts from a sultry British female turncoat who seems to know almost as much about the mission plans as Allied Command. However, Gallagher devises a plan to turn the German strategy against them, but it requires intelligence information that only a deeply infiltrated spy can provide. Success of Gallagher's plan puts the agent at great risk as the Germans scheme to turn the tables once again.
Gauntlet Of Fire
After a grueling series of 21 missions in 30 days, the 918th is finally ordered to stand down for a badly needed 10-day rest. Unfortunately, the order is rescinded almost immediately as the Group is to be included in a force-wide campaign in preparation for a highly classified mission. Hamstrung by the secrecy, Gallagher is forced to order his men back into the skies without explanation or promise of respite. To make matters worse, the 918th is given the ungratifying task of dropping leaflets instead of bombs four times a day for three straight days. As the losses and casualties mount, the morale of the Group collapses into near anarchy, and the men start to take their frustration out on each other, as well as the apparent source of the senselessness - Col. Gallagher.
The Americans resurrect the "shuttle" tactic of bombing a target, flying on to a base on the other side to refuel and re-arm, and then bomb another target on the return flight. This time, however, the turn-around base is in Russia, a determined but wary ally in the war against the Nazis. The situation becomes dangerously complicated when a Russian observer plane, piloted by a highly decorated Soviet hero, is accidentally shot down by one of the American bombers on the first leg of the mission. The suspicious commander of the Russian base refuses to release the supplies Gallagher needs to make the return flight until the man responsible for the act is identified. In the meantime, the Germans have pinpointed the location of the base, and are slaughtering the 918th with waves of air attacks as it sits helplessly on the ground. The situation only becomes more muddled as Gallagher discovers the overzealous shooter was the Soviet liaison who hitched a ride with the Group.
Face Of A Shadow
The 918th is temporarily reassigned to a newly liberated airbase in Italy which is still perilously close to the battle front as well as a town with some residents who are still loyal to the Germans. The commander of the base, Col. Yates, happens to be a former chief of the 918th who was relieved after a series of brutal, ineffective missions. He has grown lax and allowed security to deteriorate to the point that the Germans are able to inflict serious damage with the help of intelligence from the collaborators in the town. When Gallagher dresses him down and takes charge, Yates retreats to his Italian countess lover for emotional support, without realizing she may be part of the spy ring.
The Germans have developed a new radar technology that makes their anti-aircraft flak deadly accurate against both night and day bombing operations. Col. Gallagher is tasked with ferrying a British commando team to destroy the radar center, but his plane is shot down shortly after the team jumps, and he and Komansky are forced to parachute to safety and join forces with the Britons. Their brutally efficient methods disturb his sensibilities, but he recognizes the need to subordinate his feelings in favor of protecting the mission. However, as things start going wrong, he and Komansky must step in to salvage the operation.
A Distant Cry
Capt. Paul Pridie, a tough-as-nails, by-the-book instructor assigned to the 918th to evaluate the pilots' instrument flying, rubs everybody the wrong way, including his childhood friend and highly regarded pilot, Capt. Johnny Eagle. When Pridie gives Eagle an especially dim appraisal, threatening his impending promotion, Eagle takes out his disappointment on his old pal, until he realizes that Pridie's uptight attitude is due to the fact that he has never flown a combat mission and is deathly afraid to. When Eagle assures him that all the pilots feel the same fear, Pridie loosens up, that is until a tragic mission crushes his fledgling courage and leaves him wallowing in self-pity.
Practice To Deceive
Col. Gallagher is shot down over Germany, and is captured and severely interrogated by the Nazis. Quite unexpectedly, he is rescued by a group of Germans who have devised an elaborate plan to kill Hitler and seize control of the government for the purpose of negotiating a surrender to the Allies. In order to carry out their plot, however, they will need to convince the Allied leaders of their sincerity and garner support. The leader of the conspirators, Admiral von Kreuter, believes that if Gallagher flies him to England, it will bolster his chances of winning the cooperation he needs. Unfortunately, the Nazis are aware of something afoot, and are rapidly closing in on the scheme.
Lt. Ted Masters, a handsome collegiate sports hero, is assigned to the 918th, along with his mentor, Maj. Praeger, to enhance his image as a symbol of American manhood. However, his brusque introduction, manipulated by Praeger for publicity, rubs the veterans the wrong way, especially Gallagher and seasoned pilot Capt. King. Gallagher assigns Masters to desk duty in an effort to protect him from possible harm in combat, but he chafes at the role and hounds Gallagher into giving him a chance to pilot, much to Praeger's consternation and King's grudging respect. But Gallagher finds him lacking and assigns him to trivial flight duties, forcing the All-American kid to find a way to prove his combat worthiness.
American bombers keep missing an important target in the heart of Germany, but Allied command produces an ace up their sleeve in the form of a German-American GI, Sgt. Reiniger, who knows the area well and can pinpoint the elusive objective - as long as he goes along for the ride. Although his attendance produces the desired result, Reiniger and Gallagher & Crew are forced down at the Russian front, but just a little too close to the German lines where they are captured and interrogated. Now Reiniger becomes a liability as both the Americans and the Germans close in on his closely guarded secret that could get him and Gallagher's men executed.
The Fighter Pilot
Straight from the Pacific, a trio of hotshot fighter aces roar into Archbury field, instantly making a bad impression with Col. Gallagher. Their leader, Capt. Dejohn, a seasoned veteran with a burning desire for combat and little discipline, bristles at his new commander's reprimand, setting the stage for a battle of wills between the two. Things only get worse after Gallagher flies rings around Dejohn in a simulated dogfight in an effort to acclimate him to the differences in the European air war. Dejohn takes the lesson as a personal affront and launches a vendetta against Gallagher. The situation approaches critical as evidence starts to appear that the new pilots arrived at the 918th under very scandalous circumstances.
To Seek And Destroy
The Germans threaten to turn the tide of war back their way with a new super-weapon, a guided rocket bomb capable of devastating vital parts of England. One of the rockets misfires on a test flight and lands in neutral Sweden intact. When the Allies learn that a Swedish underground group has retrieved the rocket, they enlist Gallagher and Komansky to clandestinely fly over to get it. They also procure a British rocket specialist, Group Captain Carmichael, a former RAF fighter pilot. Unfortunately, Carmichael bears a grudge against Americans because he was accidentally shot down by one, ending his flying career. Besides hostility toward Gallagher and Komansky, he also manifests his annoyance by drinking excessively, making him a potentially fatal liability as the team races a group of Nazis with the same goal.
Burden Of Guilt
Having failed to destroy a German U-boat base after multiple attempts, Colonel Hollenbeck is relieved of his command of the 52nd Bomb Group and reassigned to the 918th as General Doud's liaison with the hope he might redeem himself by helping Gallagher knock out the target. However, he uses Gallagher's absence from Archbury to take command of the mission, only to fail yet again. During the attack, Major Stovall spots a U-boat heading for a different destination than their target and leaves formation to investigate, but with his radio out of commission, he fails to hear Hollenbeck's order to return and is subsequently shot down. Now under extreme pressure due to his repeated failures, Hollenbeck tries to divert attention from himself by bringing charges against Stovall. Based on his adjutant's sighting, Gallagher becomes convinced that they have been bombing the wrong location all along, but now he has to prove it and clear Stovall.
The Germans have surrounded a secret atomic research facility with a prison camp full of high profile POWs, believing the Allies will never bomb for fear of a major public relations fiasco. The Americans have an ace up their sleeve, however, in the person of Colonel Harry Connelly, a wizard at pinpoint precision bombing with 43 successful missions under his belt. But, unbeknownst to his comrades, Connelly is feeling the fatigue from so many crucial missions, and his first attempt ends in the very tragedy the Germans had foreseen, causing him to crack under the stress. Gallagher steps in to try again, but he lacks the training and experience Connelly had, foreshadowing a disastrous repeat of the previous effort.
Six Feet Under
During a lightning strike deep behind German lines, the Americans capture a forward operations base for the Luftwaffe in a small Belgian village that contains a trove of potentially valuable documents. Gallagher and Komansky are sent in to evaluate and retrieve the information, but they have three major problems; their assigned translators have been killed, an enemy survivor has emerged to cause trouble, and the Germans are mounting an all-out counteroffensive to retake the base. One of their problems might be solved by a Belgian boy who speaks German, but he blames the Americans for the destruction of his village and the wounding of his brother.
Duel At Mont Sainte Marie
The 918th is tasked with bombing a strategic target the Germans may be using as a spotter post for artillery that is blocking the Allied advance across France. Gallagher is highly disturbed, however, when he finds out the target is a monastery housing a convent occupied by nuns and refugees. He wrangles permission to personally attempt to sneak into the monastery and convince the civilians to leave before the attack, and has only 24 hours. However he runs into a resistant Reverend Mother (or Mother Superior, the leader of the convent) who refuses to abandon the historic building. Being German herself, the wily German commander cajoles her to stay, convinced the Americans will never bomb the area while she and her charges remain. Meanwhile, the 918th is on its way, ready to bomb the target.
Gallagher and Komansky, along with critically wounded passenger General Chandler, bail out over a recently liberated Italian island with a small airfield manned by just two African-American soldiers and a handful of German POWs. Komansky is suspicious of Major Luke, the commander of the base, with good reason. Luke turns out to be an AWOL private who doesn't mind serving as long as he doesn't have to shoot anybody. The situation becomes dangerous when a German pilot parachutes onto the island, takes Gen. Chandler prisoner, frees the POWs and radios for help from the Luftwaffe. PS: The Tuskegee Airmen make an appearance.
A Long Time Dead
Captain Dula is assigned as a pilot to the 918th, and in only his second mission, his plane is shot down with the loss of his entire crew. This earns him a reputation as a jinx, and Gallagher restricts him to non-pilot duties. On a subsequent mission, Dula takes umbrage at critical remarks from Komansky. When Gallagher and Stovall are wounded, Dula takes over the piloting and gives Komansky an order which he ignores while trying to save Stovall. Dula demands that an entry be made to the log noting Komansky's "mutiny". Later, Komansky comes into possession of a letter from another survivor of Dula's previous mission who is in a POW camp in Germany that implies that the captain abandoned his crew and plane without warning. He shows Dula the letter, after which he tries to play down his log entry. On their next mission, however, Komansky is seriously hurt, and his very survival may be in Dula's hands.
The Hunters and The Killers
Army vs. Navy - 1944. The 918th is picked to assist the Navy in an operation to find and destroy a German U-boat wolfpack operating in the Atlantic. Gallagher is concerned to learn that he will be working with and taking orders from Commodore Crompton, an old nemesis of his father. Crompton is even more upset by the arrangement, but grudgingly accepts the pact in order to recharge his failing career. Gallagher becomes incensed when he learns that his planes are not to carry bombs in order to maximize flying time. They are simply to spot the enemy and guide the Navy to the kill. However, the strategy doesn't work quite as planned, and the animosity between Crompton and Gallagher comes to an explosive head.