Wings of Courage: American Fighters in World War II

Wings of Courage: American Fighters in World War II

Hardback General Aviation

By (author) Tony Holmes

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  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 232mm x 38mm | 640g
  • Publication date: 20 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Osprey
  • ISBN 10: 1849082197
  • ISBN 13: 9781849082198
  • Illustrations note: 16 MONO
  • Sales rank: 432,225

Product description

From the war-torn skies over Europe to the empty expanses of the Pacific, pilots were the vanguard of the American military machine during the dark days of World War II. Discover their experiences as numerous eyewitness accounts explore the terror, adrenalin and courage which defined aerial combat. Focusing on four elite fighter units across both the European and Pacific theaters of operations, readers gain a unique insight into the battles against Germany and Japan. The book opens with the experience of 354th Fighter Group, the first fighter pilots to receive the legendary Mustang fighter, enabling them to finally take up the fight against the German Reich. Continuing the focus on the European Theater of Operations is the story of the 332nd Fighter Group - the Tuskegee Airmen - the only all-black unit of the airforce, revealing how they rose above discrimination to be feared by their enemies and revered by their colleagues. The action then switches to the Pacific, where the crack 475th Fighter Group included amongst its ranks the highest scoring American pilots, the legendary Dick Bong and Tom McGuire. The book concludes with the story of the pilots based on Iwo Jima who risked their lives to fly hundreds of miles across the Pacific, with no hope of rescue, in order to attack the heavily defended Japanese mainland. Those who survived earned themselves membership of a unique society - the 'Tokyo Club'. In this moving and enthralling account, we pay tribute to these ordinary men who became extraordinary American heroes.

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Author information

Tony Holmes has worked as Osprey's aerospace editor since 1989, having previously served as an author/photographer for this publishing house in Australasia. He established the critically acclaimed and hugely popular Aircraft of the Aces series. William Hess is the official historian for the American Fighter Aces Association, and is one of the most highly respected aviation writers of his generation. A B-17 crewman during World War 2, Hess has written over 40 books. John Stanaway has written two best-selling volumes in the Aces series both covering the exploits of the greatest Pacific fighter of them all, the P-38 Lightning. He is also an official historian of the National P-38 Pilots' Association. Chris Bucholtz has written extensively on aircraft history. He is the aircraft editor of Internet Modeler, where he introduced his 'The Pilot and The Plane' series of long-form interviews with World War 2 aviators in 2002. Carl Molesworth has specialized in producing unit histories for the USAAF fighter groups of the CBI since the 1980s, interviewing surviving veterans from these little-publicized units.

Review quote

"Wings of Courage pays tribute to the ordinary men who became extraordinary American heroes during World War II... Discover their experiences as numerous eyewitness accounts explore the terror, adrenaline, and courage which defined aerial combat. Focusing on four elite fighter units across both the European and Pacific theaters of the operations, readers gain a unique insight into the battles against Germany and Japan." - "Flying Models", December 2010"Readers gain a unique insight into battles against Germany and Japan, with eyewitness accounts of campaign histories offering a fine survey of American fighter pilots' experiences from Europe to the Pacific." - The Midwest Book Review (November 2010)