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by John Stanaway
Osprey Publishing 1999
Color Plates of
aircraft & aces
Cover Price: $24.00
Order now at amazon.com
|Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 26
Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces of the Pacific and CBI
For aficionados of the famous P-47 and P-51, this book documents the history, personalities and aerial engagements of Thunderbolts and Mustangs. Illustrated with numerous photos, this book has plenty for historians of the Pacific, or anyone interested in stories about air combat in WWII.
Thunderbolts with the 5th AF
Specific pilots like Neel E. Kearby (C. O. of 348th FG) embraced the new fighter, and set about developing new tactics to utilize the P-47's diving speed and other strengths. He went on to score a total of 22 victories in the P-47, and proved the merits of the fighter in the Pacific. Tragically, he was shot down on a sweep over Wewak.
Even groups flying the P-38 were forced to switch to the P-47 due to shortages of Lightnings. Thunderbolts distinguished themselves in New Guinea, and on long range missions with external tank, like that to Balikapapan and in the Philippines. By early 1945, most units were transitioning to the new P-51D Mustang.
Mustangs in the Pacific
Never the less, there was outstanding Mustang air combat in the Pacific, such as the story of William Shomo of the 81st TRS who scored an amazing seven victories in one mission on January 11, 1945, and his wingman, three. When he downing Ki-61 Tonys and the Betty bomber they were escorting. Shomo was awarded the Medal of Honor of this action, depicted on the book's cover.
Read interview with John Stanaway
Review by Justin Taylan
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