Editor's Note by Barnett B. "Skip" Young, Lt. Colonel USAF, Retd.

There are not enough words to describe the accomplishments, sacrifices, honors and heartaches of the personnel of the 386th Bombardment Group in World War II. The awards, the medals, the commendations and the heroism recounted here and in other documents testify to the dedication of the thousands of members who were assigned during the three plus years the Group was in existence. This book attempted to list all those assigned during the life of the organization. If anyone was omitted it was not due to the lack of searching records. The personnel lists were gathered with three years of painstaking efforts by Chester Klier, the 386th Group Historian, using every know source of data.
The photographs, personal experiences and historical data covering the 386th were furnished by the members of the 386th Bomb Group Association, Inc. More than 100 people sent in their personal experience and over 3000 photographs were received.
A special acknowledgment and tribute is given to Thomas B. Haire, the last Intelligence Office of the Group who under adverse conditions at St. Trond, Belgium, in 1945 wrote and published "The History of a Bombing Outfit, The 386th Bomb Group" on which this publication is based. Tom has generously given permission to quote freely from his book and I have done so, often without identifying it as the source of the information. If something is not identified as to its author it probably came from Tom's book.
A special thanks to George Starry (555th Squadron) and his wife Roxy for their very generous donation of all the typesetting and layout for this history. Without them the task would have been impossible.
There is not attempt to cover each day and each mission in minute detail. "The Diary of the 386th Bombardment Group" which is being written by Chester Klier will tell where the Group was on each day of its existence and where everyone was flying on each mission.
I have used some official photographs from the files of The United States Air Force but most of them came via the personal files of the members. The historical files of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base were also most helpful in the production of this book.
In the final analysis however it was the help of the individual who searched his photo albums and his memory to find the things that he wanted to see put in the record and also his financial help which made this publication possible. It was impossible to use everything that was sent in. A few stories might have embarrassed some people; a few might have offended some readers; some of the photographs have faded over the years to a point that they would not reproduce and many different people sent in the same stories and photographs.
The decision to publish a second edition which includes an "Epilogue" was made following the complete sellout of the first printing. Generally the information in Books I through IV remains as first printed. Book V covers the activities and interests of the 386th Bomb Group Association who have shared their photographs and memories, "The Story of the Crusaders, The 386th Bomb Group (M) in World War II" will play a part in preserving the memory of the men who made it The Best Medium Bombardment Group in World War II.

Barnett B. "Skip" Young
Ft. Myers Florida 1991

"Editor's Note" from "The Story of The Crusaders"
Posted with permission
Copyright 1999 Skip Young - 386th Bomb Group

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