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Ace in a Day (Hardback)

The Memoir of an Eighth Air Force Fighter Pilot in World War II

Aviation > Aviation Biography & Memoirs Aviation > WWII

By Wayne Blickenstaff, Edited by Graham Cross
Imprint: Fighting High Publishing
Pages: 360
Illustrations: 24
ISBN: 9781838068738
Published: 5th August 2022

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Wayne K. Blickenstaff, known as 'Blick', was a stalwart of the 350th Fighter Squadron of the 353rd Fighter Group based at Goxhill, Metfield and Raydon, England as part of the Eighth Air Force prosecuting the strategic air campaign against Germany. As an original cadre member, he rose steadily through the ranks from a Second Lieutenant Element Leader to Flight Leader, Squadron Operations Officer, Squadron Leader and finally to a Lieutenant Colonel and Group Operations Officer. Flying the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, he completed two tours of operations between 1943 and 1945 encompassing 133 missions and claims of 10 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air. His double 'ace' status included a Me262 jet fighter and the destruction of five aircraft in one mission, giving him rare 'ace in a day' status.

Ace in a Day is Blick's honest and gritty personal memoir of his air war in Europe. His vivid writing places you in the cockpit as he and his comrades battle the enemy in the skies or attack ground targets across Europe. His account conveys a true sense of just how dangerous flying World War II fighters, in all weather conditions, really was. It was not just the enemy that could kill you. A moment's inattention, overconfidence or simple mistake could be deadly. As a keen observer of character, Blick's pen portraits of those around him, including many of those who sadly did not survive the war, offer a poignant and deeply moving tribute to those with whom he served.

Anyone wanting an understanding of the dynamics of a working fighter squadron at war and the dilemmas faced by those in command should read this book. Supported by an impressive array of original documentation, photographs, and detailed appendices, including Blick's never-before published wartime journal, Ace in a Day provides a unique and valuable insight into the harsh realities of the air war in Europe from one of the 'Mighty Eighth's' top fighter pilots.

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About Wayne Blickenstaff

Wayne K. Blickenstaff, known as “Blick,” was a stalwart of the 350th Fighter Squadron of the 353rd Fighter Group based at Goxhill, Metfield and Raydon, England as part of the Eighth Air Force prosecuting the strategic air campaign against Germany in the Second World War. As an original cadre member, he rose steadily through the ranks from a Second Lieutenant Element Leader to Flight Leader, Squadron Operations Officer, Squadron Leader and finally to a Lieutenant Colonel and Group Operations Officer.


About Graham Cross

Graham Cross earned his doctorate in History from the University of Cambridge, and specialises in twentieth century American military, diplomatic and political history. He is a respected expert on the history of the 8th Air Force and is the historian and UK contact for the 353rd Fighter Group.

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