In 1943, in response to Orde Wingate's account to President Roosevelt of what could be done in Burma with proper air support, the U.S. Army Air Forces created what would become the Air Commandos, a unit that marked a milestone in tactical operations.
The Chindits were delighted to hear they had their own private air force. The Chindits' relationship with the Royal Air Force was problematic -"Whatever we asked them to do they declared to be difficult, impossible or against Air Force policy. Whatever they offered to do, we didn't need" (John Masters)
The Air Commandos earned the Chindits' respect by letting them call in air support themselves and evacuating a Chindit injured in a training accident by landing an L-5 in a field 400 feet long when 600 feet was the minimum. Later in the campaign they supported other units of the British Fourteenth Army during their victorious drive to Rangoon.
After a glider training accident, the Commander of the Chindits, Wingate sent the 1st Air Commando a message:
"Please be assured that we will go with your boys, any place, any time, any where."
It was adopted by the 1st Air Commando as their motto, and in an abbreviated form this is still used as the motto of the USAF Special Operations Command.
William T. Y'Blood tells the story of how these daring American aviators trained and went into combat using unconventional hit-and-run tactics to confuse the enemy and destroy their lines of communication and supply. The book describes how this top-secret force successfully attacked the enemy from the air, resupplied British commandos on the ground, and airlifted the wounded out of the battle area - eventually driving the Japanese out of Burma.
William T. Y'Blood, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and later in commercial aviation, served as a historian for the Air Force. The author of eight books on World War II aviation topics, he died in 2006, just after completing this book.