This book charts the story of the lesser known aces who flew the mighty Republic aircraft as a tactical fighter-bomber with the Ninth Air Force, rather than as a long-range escort. It also details the exploits of the Mediterranean-based 325th FG, which was the only P-47 group within the strategic Fifteenth Air Force. Thunderbolt aces within the Ninth Air Force, particularly, were rare, despite some 15 groups flying the fighter. Supporting troops on the ground rather than searching out aerial foes, was the name of the game for the men of the Ninth. However, with the Luftwaffe often opposing such sorties through to April 1945, more than 20 pilots had the opportunity to score five or more kills and 'make ace'.