Sharks over China: The 23rd Fighter Group in World War II

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The shark-faced P-40 fighter planes that patrolled the deadly skies over China during World War II hold a special fascination for aviation and military history enthusiasts. Yet even now, more than fifty years later, little is known about the employment of those extraordinary machines, the courageous men who flew them, and the very different kind of war they fought. And much of what people think they know is wrong. Sharks Over China sets the record straight. It is the first history of the U.S. Army Air Corps unit ...
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Overview

The shark-faced P-40 fighter planes that patrolled the deadly skies over China during World War II hold a special fascination for aviation and military history enthusiasts. Yet even now, more than fifty years later, little is known about the employment of those extraordinary machines, the courageous men who flew them, and the very different kind of war they fought. And much of what people think they know is wrong. Sharks Over China sets the record straight. It is the first history of the U.S. Army Air Corps unit that incorporated Gen. Claire Chennault's famous Flying Tigers - the 23rd Fighter Group. During the dark days immediately after Pearl Harbor, most news from the Asian front was bad - with the exception of reports about the Flying Tigers and their successor, the 23rd. Day after day, the P-40s of this legendary unit outfought the powerful Japanese air forces despite acute shortages of men and material. No single American fighter group in World War II performed more varied missions, was more successful, or was more central to the war effort in its theater of operations. By the end of the war, the 23rd had tallied nearly six hundred aerial victories and destroyed nearly four hundred more Japanese aircraft on the ground. Based on eyewitness interviews with the group's survivors and containing numerous rare photographs, Sharks Over China belongs in every World War II and aviation library, right next to another classic about the 23rd Fighter Group, God Is My Co-Pilot.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1942 the 23rd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Force replaced the American Volunteer Group (``Flying Tigers'') in China, inheriting their famed shark-mouthed P-40s as well as their difficult mission. Short of pilots, planes, fuel and ammunition, based at primitive airfields vulnerable to the Japanese, the 23rd developed special tactics to become the highest-scoring aerial unit in the China-Burma-India theater, achieving 594 aerial victories while destroying some 400 Japanese aircraft on the ground. Drawing on interviews, diaries, letters and unit histories, Molesworth (Wing to Wing) has stitched together a chronicle of a gutsy, resourceful outfit whose tasks included escorting bombers, bombing bridges, strafing troop trains and raiding enemy airfields. Absorbing reading for WWII aerial-combat buffs. Illustrations. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028810942
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/10/1995
  • Series: World War II Commemorative Ser.
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.33 (d)

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