Now available is Dale W. Cox’s “Top Secret Flight,” an historical novel based on an actual highly classified mission that took place in March of 1942, three months after the infamous Pearl Harbor raid. The object was to obtain specific photos of Tokyo targets for the success of the planned April bombing of Japan.
According to the author, the mission was so secretive that it was never revealed in any military history nor ever reported to the American public. If the Japanese even remotely suspected that 16 bombers were to take off from one of the two operational aircraft carriers left in the Pacific Fleet, they would have made every effort to sink those ships. President Roosevelt, who urged the Army Air Corps to bomb Japan, was not informed until after the success of the Doolittle Raid.
In February, 1942, three hand-picked bomber crews were trained in photo-recon for the mission around the world. The men were to fly extensively-modified B-17 aircraft, far beyond design safety factors and well-over maximum wartime weight limits, to make possible their flight of 18,000 miles to be flown in three stages.
While the story of the mission is nonfiction, Cox wove fictional themes into the plot to include a young woman pilot, Sally Spenser, hoping to become a WASP – Women Air Service Pilot. The fictional Joe Polaski, an Air Corps Pilot was one of three selected for the photo-mission and was known for his piloting skill and hot temper.
Sally, Joe’s high school sweetheart, had a bitter break-up after he cancelled their engagement over her flying. She was determined to pass her pilot tests, earn her wings and the airplane, promised by her dad. With her pilot license and her own plane, she immediately was accepted into the women’s pilots club, the Ninety-Nines, started by Amelia Earhart. Next, Sally became directly involved with Jackie Cochran and Eleanor Roosevelt in lobbying Congress to permit American women to fly military aircraft.
The novel portrays actual historical events after Pearl Harbor including the incarceration of 100,000 Japanese-American citizens living on the west coast into 10 detention centers.
Cox, an ex-Navy test pilot, holds two official transcontinental speed records set in 1957 and was a contender in the first astronaut program, Project Mercury. One of his credentials for writing Top Secret Flight is based on highly classified information discovered while working for the CIA. Norm Nelson was Dale’s CIA case officer. After Norm retired as Vice-President of Lockheed, they became close friends. During many luncheons, Norm began to talk about his long career. Dale made a 4-1/2 hour video interview in which Norm describes his career, particularly documenting his part in the mission to photograph Japan
The booki is available on Amazon.com