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Bold Venture tells the nearly forgotten story of the American airmen who flew perilous combat missions over Hong Kong during the Second World War. Steven K. Bailey sheds new light on the American military campaign against Japanese forces in occupied China. From the first reconnaissance flights over Hong Kong by lone pilots in 1942 to the massive multi-squadron air strikes of 1945, he describes the complex history of American air operations in the China theater and paints an indelible portrait of the American air raids on Hong Kong and the airmen who were shot down over the city.
Today unexploded aircraft bombs are unearthed with frightening regularity by construction crews in Hong Kong. Residents are eager to know where these bombs originated, who dropped them, when, and what the targets were. Bailey’s account answers some of these questions and provides a unique historical perspective for Americans seeking to understand the complexities of military involvement.
About the Author
Steven K. Bailey is an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University, where he teaches nonfiction writing courses and specializes in writing program administration. He has published articles on wartime Hong Kong in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch and is the author of Strolling in Macau: A Visitor’s Guide to Macau, Taipa, and Coloane and Exploring Hong Kong: A Visitor’s Guide to Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories.
"Bold Venture undoubtedly emerges as a catchy book focusing on a topic that has not been fully explored. . . . For anyone interested in this kind of dramatic aviation history with a human face . . . it's worth investing a few dollars and a few hours to read about what happened in the sky above Hong Kong from 1942 through 1945."—Stone & Stone: Second World War Books
"Bold Ventures is a worthwhile read for historians and military aviation enthusiasts."—Robert Marshall, Air University Press
"Bailey’s book provides sobering insight into the sometimes-overlooked air war in China. It is a dynamic and quite readable account and will be an excellent addition to the bookshelf of aviation enthusiast and historian alike."—Frank Willingham, Air Power History
“This book about an important and overlooked aspect of USAAF operations in China during World War II takes us inside prison camps where POWs cheered and feared the American bombers appearing over Hong Kong through long, dark years. It shines in accounts of the travails and heroism of USAAF airmen.”—Bill Yenne, author of When Tigers Ruled the Sky
“The accumulation of details conveys the story of Hong Kong in World War II within a quickly moving narrative. I found myself caught up in closely observed nuances of human interaction in the most extreme of circumstances. The horror of this theater of combat demands attention, as does the sacrifice of its participants.”—John Peterson, instructor in the Program of Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University
“A brisk and readable account of China-based American pilots and their years-long campaign against the city-island of Hong Kong, with due attention to the Japanese pilots who tried to stop them.”—Daniel Ford, author of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941–1942