Lt. Tommy Bell and the ‘Mighty’ 8th Air Force
18 March 1945, 0300: The morning started early at the Great Ashfield air field. Wake up at 3 a.m., crew mission briefing, chow line, flight line for pre-flight and weapons checks, take off. It would be the biggest mission of the year for the 8th Air Force (AF). Fourteen thousand American flyers at 61 air fields across the English countryside would participate, but they had no way to know that March 18 would mark a turning point in aviation history.