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    B-17 Flying Fortress

    B-17 Flying Fortress

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    When World's Collide
    An unusual mid-air and a heroic effort
    James Busha

    When the B-17's "The Little Skipper" and "Nine Lives" both moved into fill an empty slot in a formation, they slammed together and their fates were, from that point on intertwined. On top of the stack, "The Little Skipper's" pilot Lt. Glenn Rojohn and co-pilot William Leek, fought to control the tangled assemblage and flew it all the way to the ground. An amazing tale of survival.


    Next Stop Sweden
    Shot up and low on fuel, it was the only option
    Ed Cantilli, Kathryn Budde-Jones, Chris Bucholtz

    The Me 210s were making hash out of them and there wasn't a thing Lt. Gillespie could do about. Using their 20mm cannons, the Luftwaffe pilots stayed just out of range of the B-17s armament, eventually blowing half the tail away and causing one engine to seize. As the B-17 crew tried to make it back to England the choice became obvious: bail out into the English Channel, which was suicide, or try for neutral Sweden. Sweden looked much more inviting. If they could make it, that is.


    Swamp Ghost
    B-17E Gravesite in the New Guinea wetlands
    Justin Taylan

    The raid on Rabaul was disappointing. Four of the five B-17s on the raid had been hit and B-17E 41-2446 was stricken from the inventory when its crew had to belly it into a swamp in New Guinea as it ran out of fuel. For 60 years, it remained where it landed. Occasionally visited by the curious and scavengers, this time it was visited by Justin Taylan and his camera. See this glorious ghost from the past as it lives out its final days as the most complete B-17 wreck known to exist.


    The Saga of Sea Hag
    Propeller Problems Lead to a Channel Ditching
    Jack Goetz, Win JAckson III

    This time the enemy was mechanical failure, not flak or fighters. But the result was exactly the same. From the moment they started to taxi, they knew their airplane was not healthy, but as they crossed into France, mechanical gremlins ganged up on them until they had one engine on fire and another with a runaway propeller. They'd never make it home and the frigid English Channel was to become their runway, and survival was in doubt.


    Low Level Raid
    12 hours of flying and fighting
    Jan Tegler

    It was Easter morning 1944, and the Baltic Sea was barely 50 feet below the twisting, squirming B-17 as it did its best to present a poor target for the five Me 210s and their never ending attacks. With one engine out, ""Hi Fever"" should have been an easy target, but in the end, several Messerschmitts hit the water and one very bullet-ridden B-17 made it home.


    Fortress from the Beginning
    An overview of the early B-17 models
    Warren Bodie

    The Model 299 was Boeing's privately financed gamble that the Army would want their four-engine bomber, even though they hadn't actually asked for it. And, as historian Warren Bodie points out, it was a gamble that paid off handsomely for both the company and the nation. Through words and original photos, Bodie takes us from the early days of the Model 299 into the production line B-17s that were the backbone for America's venture into Fortress Europe.


    Lucky Thirteen
    A B-17 barely survives the first Schweinfurt raid
    Jan Tegler

    Lucky Thirteen turned out to be truly lucky, although not without its share of trouble and wounded crewmen. In terrifying detail, one of its waist gunners describes the relentless hammering their airplane took on one of the bloodiest and most historic raids of WWII: the first raid on the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt.


    Low Flak
    Railroad gunn ack-ack cripples a Fort
    Clarke Ash

    Fighters were relentless, but at least the B-17's gunners could fight back. Flak, however, was nothing more than a crap shoot, and on Clarke Ashe's second flight as a copilot, he found that fate truly is the hunter. Nearly over Allied lines on the return flight at low altitude, a railroad gun put a burst barely off their nose and their routine flight turned into a race against time for a crew member.


    Milk Run through Hell
    An unbriefed crew causes a disaster
    James Busha

    It was April, Friday the 13th, 1945. To make matters worse, during the mission brief, the bad news came down that President Roosevelt had died the night before. It was not to be a good day for Lt. Traeder's crew, although all would survive. Barely. Their airplane and five others of their 10-plane group, however, wouldn't survive. The bombs they carried were experimental units and, as with all experiments, things sometimes go wrong and this time many good men died as the result.

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    Pacific Fighters 2003

    Pacific Fighters 2003

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    Yellow Scorpions
    Mustang Combat Over China
    Warren Thompson

    The 530th Fighter Squadron, a.k.a. The Yellow Scorpions, was a thoroghbred P-51 Mustang wing operating in the Chinese theater. In this article, military aviation historian Warren E. Thompson recounts the exploits of these legendary pilots - named the Yellow Scorpians by Japanese radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose."


    P-38 Lightning
    Range, speed, a great gunnery platform - the Lightning had it all!
    Barrett Tillman

    Barrett Tillman gives an overview of the role played by the P-38 Lightning in the Pacific Theater. Includes the stories and first-hand testimonies of many top Lightning aces, information and statistics about each Lightning version, and a look at the important role played by Charles Lindbergh in improving its range.


    Hellcat
    King of the Pacific Fighters
    Barrett Tillman

    More than any other aircraft, the Grumman F6F Hellcat is responsible for the defeat of Japanese air power in the Pacific. Hellcats are credited with shooting down more than 5,200 Japanese aircraft - 40% of the total number of shot down by all U.S. aircraft. Barrett Tillman gives a detailed look at Hellcat history, with a focus on its versatility - serving on carriers and land bases as a dive bomber, night fighter, drone and rocket platform.


    Rising Sun's Fighter Foes
    Japanese pilots list their toughest U.S. adversaries
    Henry Sakaida

    American fighter pilots in the Pacific war fought an enemy whose values and culture differed vastly from their own. Only during the last few years have the voices of the surviving Zero pilots begun to be heard. This article includes commentary from some of Japan's best-known pilots, including Saburo Sakai, Ryoichi Yamada, Sadamu Nomachi and Takeo Tanimizu.


    ""Didn't We Tell You?""
    A Wildcat pilot on patrol is forgotten
    Basil Mott

    Basil Mott launched in his Wildcat from a carrier one wet overcast morning in 1945, on an antisubmarine patrol that turned out to be anything but routine. Unbeknownst to Mott, the mission's planners had forgotten to tell him about a change in course that required him to rendezvous with the carrier in a different location. In the pilot's own words, here is the story of how he handled this dangerous situation.


    F4U Corsair Adventures
    Memories of an F4U pilot
    Darrell Smith

    In this first-person account, Lt. Col. Darrell Smith, USMC, tells of his adventures while flying Marine Corsairs and Buffalos in the Pacific theater with ""Day's Knights"" - VMF-312.


    Saburo Sakai
    Japanese Ace
    Barrett Tillman

    Saburo Sakai was a survivor. One of Japan's notable WW II fighter pilots, Sakai flew combat from 1937 to 1945 ad achieved exceptional success despite terrible injuries and impossible odds. Sakai was better known in the U.S. than in Japan, thanks to the English version of his memoir, ""Samurai."" Sakai was the Imperial Navy's third-ranking ace and Japan's leading fighter pilot to survive the war.


    Marion's Shoes
    USMC ace Marion Carl is shot down and his shoes disappear
    John Bruning

    Marion Carl was the Marine Corps' first ace, flying F4U Wildcats during the heavy fighting around Guadalcanal. John Bruning tells the story of the day Carl was shot down by Zeros and presumed dead by his squadron-mates. Though Carl had successfully bailed out and would eventually find his way back home, his shoes and other personal belogings had been diviied up. Carl recovered everything but the shoes, which had been taken by Commandant, Gen. David Shoup. Shoup kept the shoes throughout the war, insisting their luck was what had kept him alive.


    The Final Kill
    WW II's last victory as told by the P-61 pilot who made it
    Lee Kendall, Eric Schulenberger

    Maj. Lee Kendall tells the story of how his plane, Lady in the Dark, a P-61 night fighter, scored the final two victories of the war - just after the official ending of hostilities, but before word had gotten out to the Japanese. Many never-before-heard details of this event are brought to light.

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    P-51 Mustang

    P-51 Mustang

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    Mustang Versus Messerschmitt
    A desperate dual in front of the oncoming bomber formation
    Bud Anderson

    WWII triple Mustang ace explains the Mustang's strong points in combat and takes us along during in a breathless blow-by-blow account of a dogfight with a Messerschmitt while a formation of B-17's was bearing down on them.


    The Mustangs of Iwo Jima
    Escorts to the Superforts
    Barrett Tillman

    War in the Pacific stretched the limits of human and airplane endurance as can be seen by the 11 hour missions Barrett Tillman describes. For endless hours, Mustang pilots droned along with the enemy being mechanical failure, weather, navigation and fuel starvation not the Japanese.


    A Crew Chief Remembers
    To war with the Mustang
    Merle Olmsted

    For every hour of glory in combat, ground crews put countless hours into keeping their beloved Musang ready for the fight. They are the most forgotten warriors, but if it hadn't been for them, each Mustang would have flown exactly one mission before being grounded with mechanical problems.


    Mustang Weapons
    machine guns, bombs, rockets and cameras
    Barrett Tillman

    She started out purely as a gun fighter, but soon became a do-everything ordninance delivery system. Barrett Tillman explains the various munitions carried by the Mustang and details the various systems, including the gun sights, required for the mission.


    Evalina
    Japanese evaluate a captured P-51C
    Henry Sakaida

    Author Jenry Sakaida tells the unknown tale of a P-51C Mustang that was captured intact by the Japanese who then proceeded to fly it in an effort to learn its secrets. The first thing they found was that it was a truly superb airplane. After that, everything was secondary.


    Twice the Warrior
    The P-51 in WWII and Korea
    Warren Thompson

    Through the words of both WWII and Korean Mustang drivers, author/historian Warren Thompson, shows us what it was like to be king of the hill while fighting Messerschmitts but be scrambling for your life while fighting a MiG. Two wars, same airplane, different perspectives.


    Mustang Adventures
    Jan Tegler

    Jan Tegler has spent hours with Mustang pilots, Robert Riddle and Alden Rigby, writing down their tales, some momentous, some funny, some horrifying that give us a better insight into the Mustang pilot's war.

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    Modern Air Power

    Modern Air Power

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    Hawg Driver
    A-10s earn their keep again in Iraq
    Ted Carlson

    The A-10 Warthog was headed for obsolescence when the first Gulf War proved the Hawg's unbelievable worth, and today combat commanders can't imagine going to war without it. Ted Carlson takes us inside A-10 operations the second time around in Iraq and, in the pilot's own words, explain both the aircraft's mission and their experiences. Carlson, a world reknown photographer, accompanies his words with timeless photography.


    Stealth Fighters Over Baghdad
    Going "Downtown" with 8th Squadron Nighthawks.
    Warren Thompson

    In recent years, the F-117 Nighthawk has proven it can sneak in and blind the enemy before they know it's even in the area. When 8th Squadron Stealth arrived in-theater, they were immediately tasked with a mission to catch Hussein napping and just about stopped the war before it began. Author Warren Thompson relays some never-before-told stories about the Stealth in action that took clearance clear to the Pentagon to allow us to print them.


    Snake Driver at War
    The SuperCobra in Iraq
    Ted Carlson

    Many of the current crop of USMC SuperCobra pilots weren't even born, when their mount was creating a new form of warfare in Vietnam. Today, as Ted Carlson tells us with words and photos, the newest incarnation of the formidable "Snake," the SuperCobra is carrying on the tradition of getting down and dirty with the enemy, this time in Iraq.


    Sting of the Hornet
    F/A-18 Drivers take it to the enemy in Iraq
    Ted Carlson

    As the Hornet, and now Super Hornet, become THE Navy airplane, it's exploits over both Iraq and Afghanistan are becoming legend. However, each airplane has at least one, and usually two, crewmen and Carlson tells their story as much as he does the airplane's. He follows a number of Hornet pilots from their homes into combat and gives us a view into the minds of professional warriors.


    A Full Night's Work
    The AC-130U Gunship in Action
    Braxton Eisel

    Not all modern aerial combatants are fast and sleek, and especially not the AC-130U Spooky II gunship. A transport decked out with every kind of major gun that would fit, it serves a very specific roll in today's combat arena, and Lt. Col. Eisel gets us inside the cockpit for what its pilots say is "controlled insanity."


    Buffs over Afghanistan
    Close air support: a first for the B-52
    Warren Thompson

    The B-52 Buff is generally thought of as laying down curtains of steel and fire aimed at obliterating huge portions of the landscape. As Warren Thompson conveys the current crew's (none of whom are as old as their airplanes) experiences, that image is still true but now it has been fine-tuned to have the ancient old bird putting its weapons down in close proximity to friendlies in support of their missions. It has become a form of flying artillery that, in Afghanistan, provided close support to ground troops.


    UAVs in Action
    No pilot. No risk. No limits.
    Steve Pace

    The model airplane as a weapon of war? It seems hardly possible, but now that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are becoming the battlefield commanders' real-time eyes in the sky, it is a fact that tiny flying machines are earning their keep in the usually big-and-expensive game known as "war." The advances and types of machines are moving forward at a blinding pace and the author, Steve Pace, does his best to help us understand who is building what and how each is being utilized.


    Nightmares in the Mountains
    Marine Corps Harriers over Afghanistan
    Warren Thompson

    The terrain in Afghanistan is at least as lethal as the enemy, which is why the low-level night-time missions flown by the AV-8B Harriers of VMA-513 were that much more harrowing. Using night vision equipment, the "Flying Nightmares" pressed home their attacks to relieve pressure on ground troops in extremely difficult conditions.


    Potential Adversaries
    A look at the future threats to the United States.
    Jon Lake

    As the political and technological face of the world continues to change, the threats change right along with it. Jon Lake gives us a detailed overview of the capabilities of those countries who might pose a threat in the future along with an accurate inventory of their air forces.


    Pumping Iron in the Danger Zone
    Low, slow and loaded, an army's necessities arrive by air.
    Steve Pace

    Cargo planes are fat targets as they lumber into Baghdad's main airport, and incidents abound of shoulder-fired missiles hitting them. Author Steve Pace explains the difficulties in keeping an army supplied by air and how they are adjusting to the constant threat.

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    WWII Bombers

    WWII Bombers

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    In the Theater
    Douglas A-20/DB-7
    Stan Piet

    The A-20 Havoc was designed to fulfill an Air Corps requirement for a speedy, twin-engine attack bomber. Deliveries began in December 1940, and a year later when Pearl Harbor was bombed, the A-20 immediately went to war, first in the Pacific, and then later in North Africa. Stan Piet takes a brief look at the history of this early American WW II bomber.


    The Rugged Fortress
    Life-Saving B-17 Remembered
    Robert W. Browne

    The B-17 had a well-deserved reputation for being rugged and versatile, and it seemed no number of bumps and bruises could ground a Flying Fortress for long. Robert Browne, who flew the B-17 towards the end of the War in Europe, looks back at his piloting days. With sincere affection for his former plane, Browne shares both humorous and gripping anecdotes from his time stationed in England.


    Photo Gallery
    The B-24 Liberator
    Robert F. Dorr

    During the Second World War, the B-24 Liberator was a vital component of the Allied victory. Nevertheless, the plane never seems to have gotten its proper recognition, as it flew in the shadow of its older sister, the B-17 Flying Fortress. The B-24, however, was faster, carried more bombs, and traveled farther. Robert Dorr takes a look at the history of this under-appreciated, yet crucially important, WW II bomber, with the help of a montage of authentic photographs.


    A Shot in the Dark
    Former Enemies Meet 55 Years Later
    Christopher Stuart

    A few days after D-Day, the paths of Luftwaffe fighters Kurt Sch”nfeld and Dieter Schmidt crosses that of British airman Gerald Martin in the skies above Holland as Schmidt shoots down Martin's Lancaster, killing several of his fellow crew members on their last mission of the war. A long chain of events brings the men together again 55 years later, when the former enemies meet in the Netherlands with the opportunity to put the past aside and become friends. Christopher Stuart shares a story of suspense and human nature that spans more than five decades.


    B-29 Stories
    High-Altitude Payback
    Chester Marshall

    When the B-29 Superfortress debuted in combat, it was hailed as the most advanced military aircraft ever built, and, as the next number of years would prove, it managed to live up to that reputation. Through firsthand accounts and personal experience, Chester Marshall, who flew 30 combat missions in the B-29, looks at the history of the Superfortress, and the invaluable role that it played in the Pacific during WW II.


    Photo Gallery
    The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
    Walter Boyne

    The B-17 ""looked right"" as soon as it was unveiled in 1935. Production started slowly, but shot upwards as the threat of war loomed ever closer. The Flying Fortress was constantly being adapted to keep up with the changing times, and it reached its peak with the powerful B-17G. Walter Boyne examines the history of one of the most recognizable crafts of all times, and presents a full gallery of WW II photographs which depict the B-17 in its heyday.


    In the Theater
    North American B-25A
    Stan Piet

    The B-25 is remembered as being the Army Air Force's most successful WW II medium bomber. Although the first B-25s that took to the sky were lightly armed and had fixed, hand-operated machine guns, combat reports quickly dictated changes that, when implemented, saw the B-25 become an amazing weapon. The B-25 will always be remembered, however, for serving as the plane that Jimmy Doolittle and Doolittle's Raiders used to bomb Japan in April 1942.


    Miracle at Beauvais
    Surviving a Midair Collision
    Charles O'Mahoney

    Charles O'Mahony, a B-26 pilot during WW II, recalls a terrible tragedy that occurred in the air over France on St. Patrick's Day 1945. During a routine flight exercise, three B-26s collided in midair. Of the 19 men aboard those three aircraft, 18 died, while the last one - pilot Alex Cordes - miraculously survived unhurt. It was determined that the catastrophe was the result of pilot error on the part of one of the deceased, who had been a ""short-timer."" O'Mahony uses this tale to remind us of the often-unknown dangers of formation flying, which have resulted in numerous unnecessary deaths.


    Bomber Restoration
    Last of its Kind ; B-29 Restoration to Flying Status

    Here, two legendary crafts are examined. First, ""Flight Journal"" takes a look at the only B-26 that remains airworthy today. Formerly piloted by Lt. Col. Howard Smiley, this craft is housed at Kermit Week's Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida. Secondly, the massive restoration effort of a B-29 by former and current Boeing employees is inspected.


    Strategic Bombing
    Success of Failure?
    Barrett Tillman

    While tactical air strikes targeted specific things, a strategic bombing mission is one that is defined as simply dropping bombs on a large area and destroying everything nearby. As conceived by Italian general Guilo Douhet, the initial rationale behind this bold move was to damage the morale of people who knew that, as long as hostilities continued, they would continue to be bombed. Morale isn't the only thing that takes a hit during bombing; the economy also suffers terribly. However, the ghastly price of this bombing is private property and human lives. Barrett Tillman traces the history of strategic bombing, from WW I to the Gulf War, and examines if the dividends it pays are worth the price of the innocent citizenry that suffers.


    Photo Gallery
    The Avro Lancaster
    Dan Patterson

    After the British Army had been ejected from France, Winston Churchill turned his attention to finding an offensive weapon with which to strike at Hitler. Developed from the disappointing Manchester - a twin-engine bomber that failed to live up to expectations --the Lancaster became Britain's most successful bomber. Unfortunately, between 1939 and 1945, despite its successes, the loss rate of Lancasters and their crews were inordinately high.


    B-24 ""Bailout!""
    Not in the Travel Brochure?
    Robert G. DeGroat

    Robert G. DeGroat shares the thrilling story of his final B-24 flight. Flying from Italy to Poland on an incredibly long mission in December of 1944, DeGroat and his crew were forced to bail out of their plane high over Russian territory. The author recalls that landing in Russia was not advised, but being picked up by the Russians would be better than being discovered on the ground by the Germans. As it happened, DeGroat landed dangerously close to the front lines.



    Norden Bomb Sights
    The Pickle Barrel War
    Barrett Tillman

    Developed by Carl Norden and Theodore Barth, the revolutionary Norden bombsight was found in the nose of every WW II U.S. Army bomber, as well as in many Navy aircraft. Although it was to gain fame in B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s, the sight was first deployed in naval torpedo planes before WW II. As successful as the sight eventually became, it took years of development to perfect. For the U.S., maintaining the secrecy of the sight was an utmost priority, and bombardiers had to sign an oath that the sight would not fall into enemy hands. Military historian Barrett Tillman traces the history of this legendary component of WW II bombers that played a crucial role in the course of the war.


    Terrifying Mission to Ploesti
    The Weather was as Deadly as the Flak
    Roger S. McCollester

    B-24 pilot Robert McCollester recalls a bombing mission he flew in 1944 to Romania. Having survived the flak attacks, McCollester figured he was home free. Of course, he never considered the possibility that it would be the weather, not the flak, that caused the greatest problems that day. With an eye for details, McCollester recounts specifics of that March 1944 mission, and recalls the dangers posed by something as simple as a few storm clouds.


    Bomber Defense
    The Myth & Reality
    Donald Nijboer

    The introduction of the B-10 in 1932 marked the launch of the model from which all subsequent bombers were built. Bombers such as the B-10 began a trend that led to the development and widespread use of the powered turret in WW II. Donald Nijboer takes a close look at the development of bombers and turrets, as well the methods that bombers used to protect themselves throughout the Second World War. Specifically, examining RAF, USAAF, and Luftwaffe crafts, Njiboer also offers reflections on the diminished role of turrets and gunners following WW II, as bombers turned their attention towards electronic countermeasures, and eventually stealth technology, to protect themselves.


    V-E Day Party
    Marauder Pilot Meet Bulge Survivors in Brussels
    John Christopher Dinou

    B-26 pilot John Dinou recalls with humor his actions immediately following the announcement of the European cease-fire, which he heard on a French radio broadcast. Dinou recalls the immense feelings of elation and relief that he and his fellow pilots felt, and recalls immediately hightailing it to Brussels to celebrate the end of the war. There he met up with several ground troops, whose stories add a poignant sense of wartime tragedy to this otherwise heart-warming and humorous tale of a young man at the end of war.



    Axis Bombers
    Failed Promise
    Barrett Tillman

    Almost immediately on the heels of WW I, German officials began brainstorming, trying to come up with improvements that could be made in bombing techniques. Despite this jumpstart on the Second World War, Germany and its Axis allies never saw their bombers live up to their potential. Through tactical mismanagement and technical blunders, Japanese and German bombers proved, for the most part, ineffective, and Italian bombers had virtually no effect on the course of the war whatsoever. German attempts to improve their bomber fleets during the war were a typical example of too little, too late. Barrett Tillman examines the history of the Axis bombers, and traces the causes of their overall failures.


    On Final
    A Call for Pilots and Crews
    Stan Piet

    In the late 1930s, an isolationist America suddenly realized that war was brewing in Europe, and, after years of focussing on improving economic conditions at home, President Roosevelt shifted his attention to a rapid revitalization of our armed forces. By the thousands, recruits from all walks of life were pushed through training programs on their way overseas. Unfortunately, as the war drew on, many ""green"" pilots were fed into the expanding airwars, and thousands lost their lives.

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    Spitfire

    Spitfire

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    Improving on a Stellar Design
    Great Britain's Supermarine Spitfire
    Warren Bodie

    From 1936 to well after WW II, the Spitfires spewed out of a wide-range series of factories, and the variations bred by the improvements are bewildering. Historian Warren Bodie lays out the development of the Spitfire, from Reginald Mitchell's first, pre-Spitfire attempts to the hyper-sleek post war models.


    Battle of Britain Day
    Spitfires and Hurricanes defend their homeland: 9/15/40
    Alfred Price

    Hitler's intelligence services said "Today is the day to strike and end it all." They led Hitler to believe the RAF Fighter Command had suffered such great losses that two massive, well coordinated strikes would end what had come to be known as the Battle of Britiain. Hitler hadn't counted on the production rate of 94 new Spitfires a week nor the influx of trained fighter pilots from other occupied countries. Dr. Alfred Prices takes us through that day and those that followed that ultimately led to victory for the embattled Britons.


    The 31st Fighter Group in Action
    Spitfires and Hurricanes defend their homeland: 9/15/40
    Warren Thompson

    An improbably combination of Yanks flying British airplanes against Germans and Italians in Africa is only part of the USAAF 31st Fighter Groups unique history. Author Thompson relates the tales of those who were part of that pioneer group who went to war in borrowed airplanes but in doing so, wrote yet another chapter of Spitfire history.


    Blue Eyes of the Eight
    Alone and unarmed, Spitfires bring back the results
    James Busha

    In the words of those who actually lived history, Bliss and Blyth tell what it was like to trust the Spitfire's ability to fly high and fast to keep them out of harm's way. With their guns traded for cameras, they brought back the invaluable information on which war-winning strategies were based.


    The Highest Scoring Spitfire
    Johnnie Johnson's Mk.IX takes the honors
    Alfred Price

    Just as there is a highest scoring ace, there is obviously a highest scoring airplane. However, in the case of the Spitfire, that's a difficult thing to confirm because records weren't kept of individual airplane's success. However, author Alfred Price makes an excellent case that records show EN398, the personal airplane of Wing Commander "Johnny" Johnson, to be the top of the Spitfire heap.


    Deadly Duo
    A Yank and a Spit takeon the Luftwaffe in North Africa
    James Busha

    If you believe the movies, all Texans were born to be gun fighters and that may have been the case with Spitfire ace Jerry Collingsworth. His tales of roaring around the desert at cactus level with FW 190s in his Spitfire's gunsight read like Texas gunfight fiction.


    Elliptical Elegance
    Flying and evaluating the Seafire Mk. III
    Corky Meyer

    As one of the most respected test pilots of WW II, Corwin ""Corky"" Meyer has given the opportunity to fly nearly every major fighter of both the Axis and the Allies and proclaims the Spitfire as his favorite. Using language we all can understand, he explains what made the Spitfire the legend that it is.


    Spitfires for Malta
    Allied flattops come to the rescue
    Alfred Price

    Malta was a tiny island off the tip of Italy/Sicily and in danger of being over run by the Axis. Replacing its dwindling supply of Spitfires was absolutely critical, but with Axis airfields in Sicily barely 60 miles away, the Germans and Italians could hammer the island at will. The story of supplying the hard-pressed outpost is one of ingenuity and determination.

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