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A Boeing YB-17 flies over the Cascade Mountains. Though the B-17 program initially lost out to the cheaper Douglas B-18, the U.S. Army Air Corps saw so much potential in the B-17’s design that funds were made available to continue developing the aircraft. (John R. Bruning Collection)

Beautiful Bombers

A new book documents the glory of the World War II aircraft

In his latest book, Bombs Away! The World War II Bombing Campaigns Over Europe (Zenith Press, 2011, $50), author John Bruning has assembled 450 archival photographs, many of them rarely seen. The images show Allied aircraft from all angles, revealing the gorgeous lines of the Boeing B-17 and the Hawker Hurricane.

Just as engaging as the aircraft photos are the images of the young men who made up the Allied and Luftwaffe air crews, and in Bruning’s book we see them posing formally and relaxing playfully between missions.

See more of Bruning's photos in the gallery below.

A.G. "Sailor" Malan

(John R. Bruning Collection)

A South African by birth, A.G. “Sailor” Malan became one of the great Royal Air Force fighter leaders during the Battle of Britain. In the summer of 1940, Malan commanded the legendary 74 Squadron, which helped stop the advance of Germany’s Luftwaffe.

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