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The 352nd Blue-Nosed Bastards in the Second World War

Jay Stout breaks new ground in Second World War aviation history with this gripping account of one of the war's most highly decorated American fighter groups

The 352nd Fighter Group was constituted in September 1942 and activated at Brandley Field, CT on 1st October 1942. Two of its squadrons, the 21st (later changed to the 486th) and the 34th (later changed to the 487th) had long combat histories, but like the newly formed 328th, were short on experienced personnel. Early flight training in the P-47 Thunderbolts was at Westover, Trumbell, LaGuardia and Mitchel fields. Most of the enlisted personnel, Det. "A" of the 1st Service Group arrived in January 1943.

The Group embarked from New York harbour on 1st July 1943, arriving in Scotland July 5th and, a few days later, reached their new base at Bodney, England. Training for combat became intense during those next few months.

The Group flew its first combat mission on 9th September 1943, an uneventful sweep out over the North Sea to escort returning B-17s. Some 40 pilots participated in this mission. Although the 352nd had several minor encounters with the enemy in their early missions, it wasn't until November 26th that Major J C Meyer, CO of the 487th Squadron scored their first victory – an Me109 attacking the bombers near Gronigen – the first of many victories for the 352nd.

During Second World War the 352nd flew 420 missions, 59,387 operational combat hours, destroyed 776 enemy aircraft and had 29 aerial aces. Returning to the US at war's end, the unit was deactivated.

  • AUTHOR: Stout, J
  • FORMAT: 432pp 229x152 Hb
  • Code: 14349

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