This acclaimed sequel to the Peattie/Evans prizewinning work, Kaigun, illuminates the rise of Japanese naval aviation from its genesis in 1909 to its thunderbolt capability on the eve of the Pacific war. In the process of explaining the navy s essential strengths and weaknesses, the book provides the most detailed account available in English of Japan s naval air campaign over China from 1937 to 1941. A final chapter analyzes the utter destruction of Japanese naval air power by 1944.
As its name suggests, the Avenger meted out severe retribution on the Japanese in the Pacific, participating in every major engagement through to VJ-Day. As a key weapon of World War II (1939-1945), the Avenger was so highly valued by the US Navy that its demand for the aircraft soon outstripped Grumman's production capacity, so General Motors GM] was contracted to build the near identical TBM from September 1942 onwards. Over 1000 Avengers also saw action with the Fleet Air Arm in both the Atlantic and the Pacific through to VJ-Day, and two squadrons of RNZAF TBDs fought alongside American Avengers on Bougainville in 1944.
Perry Luckett and Charles Byler have written the first biography of Col. James Kasler, who is the only three-time recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest medal for wartime valor. Kasler served as an eighteen-year-old B-29 tail gunner in World War II, became a legendary jet ace in Korea, and was so famous in Vietnam that he was known by name in the White House. Major General Hoyt Vandenberg put Kasler, along with Chuck Yeager and Robbie Risner, as "head and shoulders above the rest as stick-and-rudder pilots."
Kasler planned and led the most effective bombing mission of the Vietnam War. He was shot down and had to endure six and a half years of torture in a POW camp. His courage under those brutal conditions earned him the respect of such men as John McCain and James Stockdale. This book captures the essence of a genuine American hero who fought in three wars and traces the history of the U.S. Air Force during its formative period.
"...the simple fact is that ten men, boy's really, came together out of nowhere... did what was asked of them, and returned to their nowhere". These are the no-nonsense words of Crew 313's navigator, Mike Ozckus, that hint at the camaraderie, skill, danger, and sacrifice required for missions over Nazi-occupied Europe in the B-24 heavy bomber, known not-so-affectionately as the "Flying Boxcar".Nose gunner, Emmett (Mac) MacKenzie weaves the memories of his crewmembers with historical accounts about air combat during the Second World War. Every daunting mission demanded heroism, yet Ozckus modestly wrote that their actions wouldn't warrant even a "footnote in history". Crew 313 is the story of ordinary Americans who answered their county's call to do the extraordinary. Mackenzie brings their history alive in this testament to courage.
This book provides a comprehensive look at air war over Europe during the climactic year of World War II, combining firsthand experience with expert analysis. The centerpiece is a mission-by-mission diary of 1st Lieutenant Richard R. Ayesh, bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress, who flew with the 100th Bombardment Group, 13th Combat Wing of the 8th Air Force--the legendary "Bloody 100th." He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Croix de Guerre and the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, amongst others.This book follows Ayesh's progress from his youth during the Great Depression in Wichita, Kansas, which was rapidly becoming the air capital of the nation, to his arrival in England as a Lieutenant in a bomber crew assigned to assault the Third Reich. Once in Europe, the author provides a look at the principles of American daylight strategic bombing, while relaying the overall military situation on the ground and in the air just after D-Day. This work is uniquely self-contained and covers all aspects of Air War in a clear, concise, yet nontechnical manner. Topics include photo-reconnaissance, munitions and bomb types, aircraft characteristics, fighter and bomber tactics, bomber formations, strategic target selection, radars, countermeasures and counter-counter measures. The unaltered diary of Lt. Ayesh is presented mission-by-mission, punctuated by tragedy and heroism, with explanations and commentary of the significance of events and actions described en route. The result is one of the most frank and exciting works on the air war over Europe to date. There is no varnishing of words in this book, instead, after Lt. Ayesh is followed on his perilous return home in U-boat infested waters, the book assesses the effectiveness of US strategy in ultimately paralyzing the Nazi war machine. Finally, the complex moral issues raised by area and city bombing are explored with 21st century implications. EDWARD M. SION Ph.D. currently resides with his wife and two children in Radnor, PA
A complementary volume to Spirits In the Sky, Thunder In the Heavens takes us one step further by not only showing the aircraft but linking the wartime experience of U.S. airerews and their warbirds. The volume pays homage to the classic American aircraft that were instrumental in the Allied victory in World War II-the great American bombers and their protective fighter escort power. Featured are the B-17 Flying Fortress, P-38 Lightning, B-25 Mitchell and the F-4 Wildcat among others. Superb photographs are accompanied by firsthand accounts from the pilots, navigators, gunners and bombardiers who put their lives on the line. Readers will get the accounts, anecdotes and personal recollections of combat veterans, in their own words, as they recreate their roles in historic events, such as raids, and other action that involved these aircraft.
-- Unique, breathtaking air-to-air shots of aircraft never before shown inflight
-- Special data section provides a reference point for tech/spec enthusiasts
The key to victory in World War II lay in wresting control of the skies from the Nazis. America's most courageous pilots hurled their underrated P-47 Thunderbolts time and again against the Luftwaffe's over-whelming power, and won. This is the true story of one of the greatest Thunderbolt aces of all, Robert S. Johnson: his training, his early failures, his brushes with death and his 28 kills that helped smash the German juggernaut. Step by step, dogfight by dogfight, manoeuvre by manoeuvre, he details daring aerial exploits against monumental odds with America's fabled 56th Fighter Group, a special breed of men who changed the course of history.
If you loved the movie, you will love the real story in the book. -- Fox & Friends
On the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Topgun Navy Fighter School, its founder shares the remarkable inside story of how he and eight other risk-takers revolutionized the art of aerial combat.
When American fighter jets were being downed at an unprecedented rate during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy turned to a young lieutenant commander, Dan Pedersen, to figure out a way to reverse their dark fortune. On a shoestring budget and with little support, Pedersen picked eight of the finest pilots to help train a new generation to bend jets like the F-4 Phantom to their will and learn how to dogfight all over again. What resulted was nothing short of a revolution -- one that took young American pilots from the crucible of combat training in the California desert to the blistering skies of Vietnam, in the process raising America's Navy combat kill ratio from two enemy planes downed for every American plane lost to more than 22 to 1. Topgun emerged not only as an icon of America's military dominance immortalized by Hollywood but as a vital institution that would shape the nation's military strategy for generations to come. Pedersen takes readers on a colorful and thrilling ride -- from Miramar to Area 51 to the decks of aircraft carriers in war and peace-through a historic moment in air warfare. He helped establish a legacy that was built by him and his Original Eight -- the best of the best -- and carried on for six decades by some of America's greatest leaders. Topgun is a heartfelt and personal testimony to patriotism, sacrifice, and American innovation and daring.