You are here: Home | 307th Bomb Group News & Updates

307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) News & Updates 

Click HERE for the Previous News Release

Wil S. Hylton, author of "Vanished" The Sixty Year Search for the Missing Men of WWII has recently released an indepth and very personal story about...

The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand

Ed DeVossGetting to know the unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand was a pure delight, said Hylton
"Late one afternoon in the summer of 2004, an aviation enthusiast named Bill Darron drove down the alley behind Laura Hillenbrand’s house in Washington. He parked his car at the rear entrance and popped open the trunk. Inside were three large boxes filled with destructive implements: bomb fuses, a flare gun, a black metal device called an intervalometer and a hulking 50-pound contraption known as a Norden bombsight.

The Norden was among the most sophisticated pieces of combat equipment in World War II. Mounted inside the nose of a bomber, it could take control in midflight, steering toward an enemy target to release a payload with unprecedented accuracy. It was said that on a clear day the Norden could “drop a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet.” To operate it, bombardiers trained in secret for months, learning to lock its delicate cross hairs onto a target several miles away; once their training was complete, they swore an oath to protect the Norden with their lives. “It was the first secret weapon of the war,” Darron told me. “It’s the combination of a telescope, a gyroscope, an adding machine — it’s just an amazing piece of gears and optics.”

Darron hauled the boxes across Hillenbrand’s yard and up the back stairs of her home. She met him at the door and guided him into the dining room. Then Hillenbrand disappeared into another room, and Darron began to assemble the bombsight in silence. He rested the base unit on a high surface, attached the upper unit known as the football and placed a large map of Arizona on the floor a few feet away. The map was coiled around two window shades like an ancient scroll, and one shade was attached to a small motor, so that when the power came on, the map would slowly unfurl — allowing Darron to peer through the bombsight as if gazing down from an airplane in flight."

Continue reading the main story


Buy Vanished at Amazon

Questions about the 307th BG? 
Jim McCabe, Historian
307th BG Assoc.

Click HERE for the Previous News Release 

Copyright Notice: All images and text on this website are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Law. No images or text should be copied, downloaded, transferred, or reproduced without the written consent of the 307th Bomb Group (H) Association. This site belongs to the 307th Bomb Group
® Copyright 2013,®, All rights reserved.
Site map | Search this site |