Wings of Courage

Wings of Courage

Tales from America’s Elite Fighter Groups of World War II

General Aviation
  • Author: Tony Holmes
  • Short code: GNA
  • Publication Date: 10 Jul 2010
  • ISBN: 9781849082198
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number of Pages: 352
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About this Product

Focusing on four elite fighter units across both the European and Pacific theaters of operations we gain a unique insight into the battles against Germany and Japan. The book opens with the experience of 354th Fighter Group. Continuing the focus on the European Operations is the 332nd Fighter Group - the only all-black unit of the airforce, revealing how they rose above discrimination to be feared by their enemies and revered by their colleagues. The action then switches to the Pacific, where the crack 475th Fighter Group included amongst its ranks the highest scoring American pilots. The book concludes with the story of the pilots based on Iwo Jima who risked their lives to fly hundreds of miles across the Pacific, with no hope of rescue, in order to attack the heavily defended Japanese mainland. Those who survived earned themselves membership of a unique society - the 'Tokyo Club'.

Biographical Note

Tony Holmes has worked as Osprey's aerospace editor since 1989. He established the critically acclaimed and hugely popular Aircraft of the Aces series in 1994. William Hess is the official historian for the American Fighter Aces Association, and is one of the most highly respected aviation writers of his generation. Hess has written over 40 books during his long and distinguished career. John Stanaway has written two best-selling volumes in the Aces series both covering the exploits of the P-38 Lightning. He is also an official historian of the National P-38 Pilots' Association. Chris Bucholtz, has written extensively on aircraft history. He is the aircraft editor of Internet Modeler, where he introduced his 'The Pilot and The Plane' series of long-form interviews with World War 2 aviators in 2002. Carl Molesworth has specialised in producing unit histories for the USAAF fighter groups of the CBI since the 1980s, interviewing surviving veterans from these little-publicised units.


Part 1: The Leaders - the 354th Fighter Group
The first fighter group to receive the P-51 Mustang and who were the leading group within the ETO from the first days of the war till the fall of the Reich
Part 2: Tuskegee Airmen - the 332nd Fighter Group
A fascinating account of the Tuskegee experiment designed to prove that African Americans were not capable of flying combat aircraft, which ironically resulted in the creation of one of the elite units of the war. Their amazing war record includes the fact that they never lost a bomber under escort to enemy attack - a record unequalled by anyone else. Post-war they became symbols of the Civil Rights Movement.
Part 3: The Aces - the 475th Fighter group
The premier P-38 Fighter Group included amongst its ranks the leading American aces of all time, Dick Bong and Tom McGuire
Part 4: The ‘Tokyo Club' - Long Range Mustang Units
This little-known story of the pilots who had to make the 650-mile trip who had to fly 650-miles across the ocean to attack Japan, battling against not only the enemy but dwindling fuel supplies, monsoom storms and pilot fatigue.

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