‘Tomahawk Warrior’ digital book now available to preorder

Paperback expected to follow

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

TOMAHAWK – The digital version of a book that chronicles the events of an ill-fated World War II aircraft is now available to preorder.

The B-17 Tomahawk Warrior: A WWII Final Honor, written by David E. Huntley, documents the stories of the crew of the Tomahawk Warrior, a plane went down in 1944.

The Tomahawk Warrior was piloted by Charles J. Searl of Tomahawk.

The Tomahawk Warrior

Early on the morning of Aug. 12, 1944, a plane, engines sputtering, roared over the cottage of Huntley’s family in Loudwater, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, about 30 miles west of London. The aircraft passed over at a low altitude and went down less than a minute later at Lude Farm in Penn, just north of Loudwater.

Huntley, who was nine years old at the time, raced to the scene with his brother and step-brother and found that the aircraft had been destroyed and its entire crew had either been killed in the crash or had been captured.

Huntley later learned that the plane was called the Tomahawk Warrior, and Searl was its pilot.

The Tomahawk Warrior was a B-17 Bomber, part of the United States Army Air Forces 398th Bomb Group. On the morning of the crash, the plane and its crew departed from Royal Air Force Station Nuthamspead, England, headed for Versailles, France, on their 25th bombing mission.

On the way to France, the plane, loaded with bombs for the mission, experienced mechanical problems and went down.

Huntley said the explosion was heard in all the surrounding towns, and the blast was louder than most he had experienced in London during the Blitz, Nazi Germany’s bombing campaign against Great Britain in 1940 and 1941.

According to the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, Searl purposely put the ill-fated aircraft down in an open field near Lude Farm, saving countless lives by avoiding the populated areas nearby.

Huntley’s book

Huntley said he found information about the Tomahawk Warrior, its crew and the crash purely by chance while researching another WWII story. Coincidentally, he discovered the account of the Tomahawk Warrior on Aug. 12, 2016, the 72nd anniversary of the crash.

“The book provides an in-depth look at the lives and loves of the brave, very young men who faced immense odds of survival in brutal conditions,” a Huntley said in a release.

The book is also a “comprehensive look at a section of time of air combat in WWII in 1944,” according to the release.

Readers will also learn about how Huntley secured a British Honor for the fallen Tomahawk Warrior crew and led a delegation of family descendants he had traced to England to receive the award from the British authorities.

“Later, with the help of a member of the House of Lords, (Huntley) was able, with other locals, to establish a Permanent Commemorative Marker adjacent to the crash site of the Tomahawk Warriors,” the release stated.

The digital version of the book includes footnotes at the end of each chapter, and the print version, expected to be published at a later date, has the footnotes on each relevant page, together with a full seven-page index for reference. 

To learn more about The B-17 Tomahawk Warrior: A WWII Final Honor or to preorder the digital version on Amazon, visit www.tinyurl.com/mryzc9vp or search “B-17 Tomahawk Warrior” on www.amazon.com.

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