The Mighty Eighth

The Mighty Eighth

Masters of the Air over Europe 1942–45

General Aviation
  • Author: Donald Nijboer
  • Short code: GNA
  • Publication Date: 1 Sep 2022
  • Number of Pages: 320
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The perfect companion to Masters of the Air on Apple TV+, this is a superbly illustrated examination of the aircraft, pilots, crews and operations of the US Eighth Air Force.

The US Eighth Air Force—known as the "Mighty Eighth”—was a combat air force activated in Georgia, USA on January 28, 1942. Its bomber command soon moved to Northern Europe to conduct strategic bombing missions, seeking to destroy Germany's ability to wage war. Among the major operations it participated in were "Big Week” in February 1944; the D-Day landings in June 1944; and the defeat of the Luftwaffe and destruction of German industry. Eighth Air Force was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft, and equipment. At peak strength, Eighth Air Force had 40 heavy bomber groups, 15 fighter groups, and four specialized support groups.

This work provides a superbly illustrated and fully comprehensive exploration of the Mighty Eighth's bomber and fighter planes, its incredibly brave pilots and crew, and its daring and dramatic operations. It also explores the careers of key personalities associated with the Mighty Eighth, such as Earle Partridge, James Doolittle, and William Kepner. Packed with hundreds of color aircraft profiles, battlescene artworks, and period photographs, The Mighty Eighth provides a truly comprehensive look at the illustrious history of the US Eighth Air Force.

Biographical Note

Donald Nijboer lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. His previous works on World War II include Cockpit: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Interiors, Gunner: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Turrets and Gun Positions, Cockpits of the Cold War, and Graphic War - The Secret Aviation Drawings and Illustrations of World War Two. Donald has also written articles for Flight Journal, Aviation History and Aeroplane Monthly.


VIII Fighter Command
Chapter 1: The Friendly Invasion: "Over Paid, Over Sexed, and Over Here!”
Strategic Air Depots
Daily Life and Conditions of Service
Easily Replaced
Love, London, and Longing
Tents and Castles
"Consider Yourselves Already Dead”
Chapter 2: The Light of Day: The USAAF Strategic Bombing of Germany 1942-45
1942: First Missions
1943: A Decisive Year
1944: Winning the Argument
1945: Crippling Nazi Germany
Chapter 3: Organization of Eighth Air Force: Air and Ground Units
Air Units
Ground Crews and Personnel
Eighth Air Force order of battle, January 1945
Chapter 4: Aircraft of the Eighth Air Force: Bombers, Fighters, Reconnaissance
Photo-recon and Reconnaissance
Chapter 5: The Tools of Battle: Training, Formations, Technology, Armament, Tactics
Fighter Tactics
Chapter 6: The Experience of Battle: Facing the Flak, Dueling the Fighters
Enemy Coast Ahead
12 O'Clock High
Receiving Flak
Bailing Out
Air Sea Rescue
Returning Home
Relief and Debrief
Combat Focus: 303rd Bomb Group "Hell's Angels”
Fighter Mission
Combat Focus: 4th Fighter Group "Debden Eagles”
Combat Focus: 56th Fighter Group
The Opposition: Defending the Reich
Chapter 7: Eighth Air Force Personnel: Leaders and Aces
Senior Leadership of Eighth Air Force
Heroes at the Sharp End
Further Reading and Research
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations