Thunderbolt to War - An American Fighter Pilot in England

Thunderbolt to War - An American Fighter Pilot in England


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Thunderbolt to War - An American Fighter Pilot in England by John Anderson, Clint Sperry

Thunderbolt to War gives a remarkable insight into the structure and operations of a leading USAAF Fighter Squadron in England during the Second World War, together with personal thoughts and feelings of skilled fighter pilot, Clint Sperry. The 353rd Fighter Group was a rarely celebrated 'workhorse' of Eighth Fighter Command, but names of some of its charismatic leaders still resonate today. The 18-victory ace Walter Beckham and aggressive Glenn E. Duncan were among those who led Clint to war. He and his colleagues faced many frustrating and perilous experiences; encountering enemy fighters and flak and also treacherous weather and mechanical problems in the bloody battles over Europe. To survive was a lottery, but those with previous flying hours before entering service had the advantage of experience. Clint's successes and traumas are highlighted to give a true picture of a fighter pilot's war. He flew 106 missions in the P47 Thunderbolt, was awarded 3 DFCs, and credited with destroying or probably destroying five enemy aircraft as well as many targets on the ground by strafing and bombing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781554562
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Publication date: 11/02/2015
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Abbreviations 9

Foreword 11

Prologue 12

1 Born to Fly 17

2 Background to War 26

3 Training Begins 32

4 Intensive Training 40

5 The P-47 Thunderbolt 45

6 The Yanks Are Coming 51

7 Metfield Missions 62

8 Met Flights 73

9 Grim Finale to Summer 83

10 The Fog of Autumn 93

11 Winter Bites 103

12 The New Year 113

13 Tough Times 122

14 Sorely Tested 131

15 Raydon 141

16 Threatening Skies 152

17 Build-up to the Invasion 161

18 Unrelenting Pressure 169

19 Operation 'Overlord' 179

20 The Invasion Prevails 188

21 Catastrophe and Retribution 197

22 Tour Finale 207

23 Roped in as an Instructor 223

24 The Later Years 233

Endnotes 242

Appendix I Clinton H. Sperry Mission List 256

Appendix II 352nd Fighter Squadron Losses 260

Bibliography 262

Index 263

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