359th Fighter Groupby Jack H Smith, Tom Tullis
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Nicknamed the 'Unicorns', the 359th FG was one of the last groups to arrive in the UK for service in the ETO with the Eighth Air Force. First seeing action on 13 December 1943, the group initially flew bomber escort sweeps in P-47s, before converting to the ubiquitous P-51 in March/April 1944. Throughout its time in the ETO, the 359th was credited with the destruction of 351 enemy aircraft destroyed between December 1943 and May 1945. The exploits of all 12 aces created by the group are detailed, along with the most significant missions flown. This book also discusses the various markings worn by the group's three squadrons, the 368th, 369th and 370th FSs
Meet the Author
Jack Smith is a native of Charleston, West Virginia. A life-long aviation enthusiast, he has written a number of titles on World War 2 aviation specific to the USAAF. He is also a master modeller, creating museum-quality replicas.
Tom has illustrated a number of books in both the Aces and Combat Aircraft series. He was the first artist to produce material for Osprey Aviation electronically. Tom's most recent work can be found in Aircraft of the Aces 2: 'Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces of the Pacific and CBI' and Combat Aircraft 16: 'Spitfire Mark V Aces 1941-45'.
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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.