A vivid narrative history, packed with first-hand accounts, of the US Eighth Air Force's VIII Fighter Command from its foundation in 1942 through to its victory in the skies over Nazi Germany.
On August 7, 1942, two events of major military importance occurred on separate sides of the planet. In the South Pacific, the United States went on the offensive, landing the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal. In England, 12 B-17 bombers of the new Eighth Air Force's 97th Bombardment Group bombed the Rouen–Sotteville railroad marshalling yards in France. While the mission was small, the aerial struggle that began that day would ultimately cost the United States more men killed and wounded by the end of the war in Europe than the Marines would lose in the Pacific War.
Clean Sweep is the story of the creation, development and operation of the Eighth Air Force Fighter Command and the battle to establish daylight air superiority over the Luftwaffe so that the invasion of Europe could be successful.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has had a lifelong interest in the history of the fighter force that defeated the Luftwaffe over Germany. He has collected many first-hand accounts from participants over the past 50 years, getting to know pilots such as the legendary “Hub” Zemke, Don Blakeslee and Chuck Yeager, as well as meeting and interviewing leading Luftwaffe pilots Adolf Galland, Gunther Rall and Walter “Count Punski” Krupinski. This story is told through accounts gathered from both sides.