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Posted October 8, 2002
Osprey's latest edition to its Aviation Elite Units Series, 359TH FIGHTER GROUP by Jack H. Smith, is a terrific combination of historical records, combat reports, period photographs, and some 48 color aircraft profiles by artist Tom Tullis. 359TH FIGHTER GROUP traces the history of the group (368th, 369th and 370th Fighter Squadrons)from its Stateside creation in 1942 through its deployment in combat with the US 8th Air Force in the fall of 1943. The day to day operations of the group as it carried out bomber escort missions over Nazi-Occupied Europe is covered in detail and the reader is placed "in the cockpit" as key missions are described. The reader is taken through the 359th's combat career from its P-47 Thunderbolt days, through its transition to the P-51 Mustang, its battles with German jets and rocket-powered fighters, and even accidental clashes with Russian fighters over Germany in the war's last weeks. The combat records of the 359th's 16 "aces" are outlined, including Maj. Ray S. Wetmore who not only led the group but whose 21 aerial victories made him one of the 8th Air Force's top-scoring pilots. Aside from the "aces," the book covers the actions of the pilots and wingmen who also took the risks and got the job done on a daily basis. A fine study of an 8th Air Force fighter outfit, this book is a must for any World War II aviation library.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 13, 2009
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