Author: Jay Stout
A hell-bent-for-leather fighter pilot, Elwyn G. Righetti remains one of the most unknown, yet compelling, colorful and controversial commanders of World War II. Arriving late to the war, he led the England-based 55th Fighter Group against the Nazis during the closing months of the fight with a no-holds-barred aggressiveness that transformed the group from a middling organization of no reputation into a headline-grabbing team that had to make excuses to no one. Indeed, Righetti’s boldness paid off as he quickly achieved ace status and additionally scored more strafing victories—27—than any other Eighth Air Force pilot. However, success came at a high cost in men and machines. Some of Righetti’s pilots resented him as a Johnny-come-lately intent on winning a sack of medals at their expense. But most lauded their spirited new commander and his sledgehammer audacity. Indeed, he made his men most famous for “loco busting,” as they put more than six hundred enemy locomotives out of commission—170 in just two days! Ultimately, Righetti’s calculated recklessness ran full speed into the odds. His aircraft was hit while strafing an enemy airfield only four days before the 55th flew its last mission. Almost farcically aggressive to the end, he coaxed his crippled fighter through one more firing pass before making a successful crash landing. Immediately, he radioed his men that he was fine and asked that they reassure his family. Righetti was never heard from again. Vanished Hero tells the story of this remarkable man and the air war that he and his comrades fought, while examining his possible fate.
Author: Harry Yeide
The Tank Killers is the story of the American Tank Destroyer Force in North Africa, Italy, and the European Theater during World War II. The tank destroyer (TD) was a bold-if some would say flawed-answer to the challenge posed by the seemingly unstoppable German blitzkrieg. The TD was conceived to be light and fast enough to outmaneuver panzer forces and go where tanks could not. At the same time, the TD would wield the firepower needed to kill any German tank on the battlefield. Indeed, American doctrine stipulated that TDs would fight tanks, while American tanks would concentrate on achieving and exploiting breakthroughs of enemy lines. The Tank Killers follows the men who fought in the TDs from the formation of the force in 1941 through the victory over the Third Reich in 1945. It is a story of American flexibility and pragmatism in military affairs. Tankdestroyers were among the very first units to land in North Africa in 1942. Their first vehicles were ad hoc affairs: Halftracks and weapons carriers with guns no better than those on tanks and thin armor affording the crews considerably less protection. Almost immediately, the crews realized that their doctrine was incomplete. They began adapting to circumstances, along with their partners in the infantry and armored divisions. By the time that North Africa was in Allied hands, the TD had become a valued tank fighter, assault gun, and artillery piece. The reconnaissance teams in TD battalions, meanwhile, had established a record for daring operations that they would continue for the rest of the war. The story continues with the invasion of Italy and finally that of Fortress Europe on 6 June 1944. By now, the brass had decreed that half the force would convert to towed guns, a decision that dogged the affected crews through the end of the war. The TD men encountered increasingly lethal enemies, ever more dangerous panzers that were often vulnerable only to their guns while American tank crews watched in frustration as their rounds bounced harmlessly off the thick German armor. They fought under incredibly diverse conditions that demanded constant modification of tactics. Their equipment became ever more deadly. By VE day, the tank destroyer battalions had achieved impressive records, generally with kill/loss rates heavily in their favor. Yet the Army after the war concluded that the concept of a separate TD arm was so fundamentally flawed that not a single battalion existed after November 1946. The Tank Killers draws heavily on the records of the tank destroyer battalions and the units with which they fought. Veterans of the force add their personal stories.
Author: Jay A. Stout
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Dramatic story of World War II in the air How the U.S. built an air force of 2.3 million men after starting with 45,000 and defeated the world's best air force Vivid accounts of aerial combat Winner, 2011 San Diego Book Awards for Military & Politics In order to defeat Germany in World War II, the Allies needed to destroy the Third Reich's industry and invade its territory, but before they could effectively do either, they had to defeat the Luftwaffe, whose state-of-the-art aircraft and experienced pilots protected German industry and would batter any attempted invasion. This difficult task fell largely to the U.S., which, at the outset, lacked the necessary men, materiel, and training. Over the ensuing years, thanks to visionary leadership and diligent effort, the U.S. Army Air Force developed strategies and tactics and assembled a well-trained force that convincingly defeated the Luftwaffe.
Author: Don Brown
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
*A NATIONAL BESTSELLER!* The New York Post calls The Last Fighter Pilot a "must-read" book. From April to August of 1945, Captain Jerry Yellin and a small group of fellow fighter pilots flew dangerous bombing and strafe missions out of Iwo Jima over Japan. Even days after America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, the pilots continued to fly. Though Japan had suffered unimaginable devastation, the emperor still refused to surrender. Bestselling author Don Brown (Treason) sits down with Yelllin, now ninety-three years old, to tell the incredible true story of the final combat mission of World War II. Nine days after Hiroshima, on the morning of August 14th, Yellin and his wingman 1st Lieutenant Phillip Schlamberg took off from Iwo Jima to bomb Tokyo. By the time Yellin returned to Iwo Jima, the war was officially over—but his young friend Schlamberg would never get to hear the news. The Last Fighter Pilot is a harrowing first-person account of war from one of America's last living World War II veterans.
Author: Iftach Spector
Publisher: Zenith Press
A recently retired Israeli Air Force general and its second-highest-scoring fighter ace, Iftach Spector is one of Israel’s living legends. He was the leader of the flight that attacked the USS Liberty in 1967. After the 1967 and 1973 wars, in which he commanded a squadron of fighter-bombers, he rose to head the IAF’s Training and War Lessons Section and later became its the Chief of Operations. He was one of the eight Israeli pilots who attacked Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirik in 1981. In 2003, his career took an even more dramatic turn: he was the senior signatory of the famous “Pilots’ Letter,” in which Spector and 27 other Israeli pilots stated their refusal to bomb targets in Palestine where collateral damage would likely be severe. His maverick conscience is well on display in this artfully written memoir, which is currently a 10-week-and-counting bestseller in Israel and has been licensed in Brazil as well. The son of a family that immigrated to Palestine at the turn of the 20th century, whose father and mother served in the Palmach, Israel’s early clandestine commando force, Spector has written a rich and reflective meditation on loyalty, on what is right and wrong in war, and on his dedication to the idea and reality of the state of Israel. The Pilots’ Letter ended Spector’s military career, but also made him one of the most compelling and celebrated defenders of the conscience of the Jewish state. In that battle, as in his previous battles against Nasser’s MiGs, his mother’s constant lesson to him sustained him: “All from within.” General Spector’s first book, A DREAM IN BLACK AND AZURE (1992; never translated into English), won the Sade Literary Award, given to him personally by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He has a B.A. in history and Middle East Studies from Tel Aviv University and a masters in political science from UCLA, both with honors.
Author: Jay Stout
The nearly half-million American aircrewmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories. Award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay A. Stout uses Unsung Eagles to save an exciting collection of those accounts from oblivion. These are not rehashed tales from the hoary icons of the war. Rather, they are stories from the masses of largely unrecognized men who—in the aggregate—actually won it. They are the recollections of your Uncle Frank who shared them only after having enjoyed a beer or nine, and of your old girlfriend’s grandfather who passed away about the same time she dumped you. And of the craggy guy who ran the town’s salvage yard; a dusty, fly-specked B-24 model hung over the counter. These are “everyman” accounts that are important but fast disappearing. Ray Crandall describes how he was nearly knocked into the Pacific by a heavy cruiser’s main battery during the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. Jesse Barker—a displaced dive-bomber pilot—tells of dodging naval bombardments in the stinking mud of Guadalcanal. Bob Popeney relates how his friend and fellow A-20 pilot was blown out of formation by German antiaircraft fire: “I could see the inside of the airplane—and I could see Nordstrom's eyes. He looked confused…and then immediately he flipped up and went tumbling down.” The combat careers of 22 different pilots from all the services are captured in this crisply written book which captivates the reader not only as an engaging oral history, but also puts personal context into the great air battles of World War II. Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Jay Stout is a former Marine Corps fighter pilot who flew F-4 Phantoms and F/A-18 Hornets during a military career from 1981 to 2001. A graduate of Purdue University, he has also written FORTRESS PLOESTI, FIGHTER GROUP and THE MEN WHO KILLED THE LUFTWAFFE .
Author: Jay Stout
Publisher: Presidio Press
In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Marine Corps’ ground campaign up the Tigris and Euphrates was notable for speed and aggressiveness unparalleled in military history. Little has been written, however, of the air support that guaranteed the drive’s success. Paving the way for the rush to Baghdad was “the hammer from above”–in the form of attack helicopters, jet fighters, transport, and other support aircraft. Now a former Marine fighter pilot shares the gripping never-before-told stories of the Marines who helped bring to an end the regime of Saddam Hussein. As Jay Stout reveals, the air war had actually been in the planning stages ever since the victory of Operation Desert Storm, twelve years earlier. But when Operation Iraqi Freedom officially commenced on March 20, 2003, the Marine Corps entered the fight with an aviation arm at its smallest since before World War II. Still, with the motto “Speed Equals Success,” the separate air and ground units acted as a team to get the job done. Drawing on exclusive interviews with the men and women who flew the harrowing missions, Hammer from Above reveals how pilots and their machines were tested to the limits of endurance, venturing well beyond what they were trained and designed to do. Stout takes us into the cockpits, revealing what it was like to fly these intense combat operations for up to eighteen hours at a time and to face incredible volumes of fire that literally shredded aircraft in midair during battles like that over An Nasiriyah . With its dynamic descriptions of perilous flights and bombing runs, Hammer from Above is a worthy tribute to the men and women who flew and maintained the aircraft that so inspired their brothers in arms and terrified the enemy. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Robert F. Dorr, Thomas D. Jones
Publisher: Zenith Press
Hell Hawks sets a new standard for histories of the tactical anti-war in Europe. Veteran authors Bob Dorr and Tom Jones combine masterfully crafted veteran interviews with the broader picture of the air war fought by the Thunderbolt men. You gain a new appreciation of just how tough their deadly task was, and the courage needed to fly close air support against the Nazi fighters and flak. This outstanding book raises the bar on aviation history as it brings alive the true story of an aerial band of brothers." - Colonel Walter J. Boyne, National Aviation Hall of Famer, former director of the National Air & Space Museum, and best-selling author Hell Hawks! is the story of the band of young American fighter pilots, and their gritty, close-quarters fight against Hitlers vaunted military. The "Hell Hawks" were the men and machines of the 365th Fighter Group. Beginning just prior to D-Day, June 6, 1944, the groups young pilots (most were barely twenty years old and fresh from flight training in the United States) flew in close support of Eisenhowers ground forces as they advanced across France and into Germany. They flew the rugged, heavily armed P-47 Thunderbolt, aka the Jug. Living in tents amid the cold mud of their front-line airfields, the 365ths daily routine had much in common with that of the G.I.s they supported. Their war only stopped with the Nazi surrender on May 8, 1945. During their year in combat, the Hell Hawks paid a heavy price to win the victory. Sixty-nine pilots and airmen died in the fight across the continent. The Groups 1,241 combat missions -- the daily confrontation of sudden, violent death -- forged bonds between these men that remain strong sixty years later. This book will tell their story, the story of the Hell Hawks.
Author: Jay Stout
Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed. While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it is also a launching point for the author's inquiries into many aspects of the American strategic bombing effort in World War II. It delivers across the board. Stout, who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot in the First Gulf War, asks questions about aviation combat history and technique that any modern combat pilot would be dying to ask. He carries the ball far beyond the goal post set by all other Ploesti historians. He has gone out of his way to describe the defenses throughout the campaign, and he brings in the voices of Ploesti's defenders to complement the tales of Allied airmen who brought Ploesti to ruin. He describes the role of the bombers, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke. In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive. Jay Stout's previous books include Hornets Over Kuwait, his Gulf War memoir and, as co-author, The First Hellcat Ace.
Author: Ted Fahrenwald
Publisher: Open Road Media
A suspenseful and witty memoir of an American World War II fighter pilot shot down over France and his outrageously brave adventures behind enemy lines. A daredevil aviator in the famed 352nd Fighter Squadron, Ted Fahrenwald bailed out of his burning P-51 Mustang two days after D-day and was launched on a thrilling adventure in Occupied France. After months living and fighting with the French Resistance, he was captured by the Wehrmacht, interrogated as a spy, and interned in a POW camp—but he made a daring escape just before his deportation to Germany. Despite Fahrenwald’s harrowing experiences, nothing diminished the ace’s talent for spotting ironic humor in even the most aggravating or dangerous situations—and nothing stopped his penchant for extracting his own improvised, and sometimes hilarious, version of justice. Recently discovered but written shortly after the author’s discharge and return to the United States, Bailout Over Normandy is a remarkable memoir that reveals a rare literary talent. This WWII page-turner is an audaciously humorous tale of daring and friendship that brings vivid life to the daily bravery, mischief, and intrigues of fighter pilots, Resistance fighters, and allies in the air and on the ground.
Author: Lt Col Jay A. Stout
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Jay Stout breaks new ground in World War II aviation history with this gripping account of one of the war's most highly decorated American fighter groups.
Author: Jay A. Stout
During the air battles that destroyed Nazi Germany’s ability to wage war, one bomb group was especially distinguished. The Hell’s Angels. At the outbreak of World War II, the United States was in no way prepared to wage war. Although the U.S declared war against Germany in December 1941, the country lacked the manpower, the equipment, and the experience it needed to fight. Even had an invasion force been ready, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany’s industrial and military might were crippled. Because no invasion could happen without air superiority, the first target was the Luftwaffe—the most powerful and battle-hardened air force in the world. To this end, the United States Army Air Forces joined with Great Britain’s already-engaged Royal Air Force to launch a strategic air campaign that ultimately brought the Luftwaffe to its knees. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary 303rd Bomb Group—Hell’s Angels. This is the 303rd’s story, as told by the men who made it what it was. Taking their name from their B-17 of the same name, they became one of the most distinguished and important air combat units in history. The dramatic and terrible air battles they fought against Germany changed the course of the war.
Author: Jan Struther
Publisher: Prabhat Prakashan
A picture of Mrs. Miniver in many moods shown thru a succession of episodes such as the return to London after the holidays, the new car, Christmas, the countryside, Scotland, gas masks, a trip to the dentist, and a journey abroad.
Author: Jiri Rajlich
Publisher: Mushroom Model Publications
Artur Juszczak details the combat history of the Slovak fighter pilot Josef Frantiek, who flew with the 303rd (Polish) Squadron in the Battle of Britain and achieved 17 kills. His death on October 8, 1940 remains a mystery, as the 303rd Squadron were only flying a routine patrol that day. Illustrated with many photos, some published here for the first time, and detailed color profiles of his aircraft.
Author: Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Bud Anderson is a flyers flyer. The Californians enduring love of flying began in the 1920s with the planes that flew over his fathers farm. In January 1942, he entered the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Program. Later after he received his wings and flew P-39s, he was chosen as one of the original flight leaders of the new 357th Fighter Group. Equipped with the new and deadly P-51 Mustang, the group shot down five enemy aircraft for each one it lost while escorting bombers to targets deep inside Germany. But the price was high. Half of its pilots were killed or imprisoned, including some of Buds closest friends. In February 1944, Bud Anderson, entered the uncertain, exhilarating, and deadly world of aerial combat. He flew two tours of combat against the Luftwaffe in less than a year. In battles sometimes involving hundreds of airplanes, he ranked among the groups leading aces with 16 aerial victories. He flew 116 missions in his old crow without ever being hit by enemy aircraft or turning back for any reason, despite one life or death confrontation after another. His friend Chuck Yeager, who flew with Anderson in the 357th, says, In an airplane, the guy was a mongoosethe best fighter pilot I ever saw. Buds years as a test pilot were at least as risky. In one bizarre experiment, he repeatedly linked up in midair with a B-29 bomber, wingtip to wingtip. In other tests, he flew a jet fighter that was launched and retrieved from a giant B-36 bomber. As in combat, he lost many friends flying tests such as these. Bud commanded a squadron of F-86 jet fighters in postwar Korea, and a wing of F-105s on Okinawa during the mid-1960s. In 1970 at age 48, he flew combat strikes as a wing commander against communist supply lines. To Fly and Fight is about flying, plain and simple: the joys and dangers and the very special skills it demands. Touching, thoughtful, and dead honest, it is the story of a boy who grew up living his dream.