About the Book

Courage Before Every Danger begins in 1938 with the 31st Bomb Squadron's transfer from the Mainland to Hawaii. The book follows the Squadron through the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 and the ensuing four years as it played a vital role in the United States' island hopping campaign in the Pacific Theatre.

"Excitement ran through the mess line: fried chicken tonight! There were drumsticks for everyone. One bite and the truth was out--SPAM--shaped around sticks and fried in batter. SPAM! Again!"

Francis T. Brady, 31st Bomb Squadron

The book is the culmination of 17 years of research. Written in the Squadron veterans' own words, the book contains personal interviews, letters, diaries, and excerpts from the official Squadron records. The reader will see WWII in the Pacific through the eyes of the men who fought its air war.

"Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it. All these great bunch of young guys crashing and dying for what?"

Diary of Oscar Fitzhenry, 5th Bomb Group

"I heard someone yell out, 'Here they come!' I laid out my ammunition, I put the bayonet on my rifle, and then I cried; to me, this was my last day on earth. I was not going to see my mom and dad again."

Henry Heim, 31st Bomb Squadron
December 7, 1941



31st Bombardment Squadron (H)

[5th Bomb Group (H), 13th Air Force]


neutralize the Japanese forces in the South and Southwest Pacific by bombing their shipping, airstrips, personnel and supply areas


  • Hickam Field, Hawaii
  • Kipapa Field, Hawaii
  • Kualoa Field, Hawaii
  • Pecoa Field, Espiritu Santo
  • Henderson Field, Guadalcanal
  • Carney Field, Guadalcanal
  • Munda Strip, New Georgia
  • Momote Airdome, Los Negros
  • Jap Strip, Wakde
  • Kornasoren Airdome, Noemfoor
  • Pitoe Field, Morotai
  • Aba Field, Samar

"Our backs were against each other and he's dead and I'm here and I don't know why that is."

Owen Carr
31st Bomb Squadron


Designed by Cody Snodgrass