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Star-Spangled Spitfires (Kindle)

WWII Aviation

By Tony Holmes
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Series: Images of War Books
File Size: 33.1 MB (.mobi)
ISBN: 9781473889248
Published: 30th May 2017

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Through the medium of period photography, Star-Spangled Spitfires chronicles the combat operations of the USAAF units equipped with the iconic Supermarine fighter whilst employed in both the European and Mediterranean theatres of war, from the summer of 1942 right up to the end of the conflict.

Only a handful of British combat aircraft wore the stars and bars of the USAAF during the Second World War, with the Beaufighter, Mosquito and Spitfire being the key types to see action with American crews in American squadrons. The Spitfire was, by some margin, the most widely used of the three, and the Yanks that flew it in combat rated the fighter very highly. Employed primarily by the six squadrons of the 31st and 52nd Fighter Groups, initially from airfields in the UK and then in North Africa and Italy, the Spitfire was used both as a fighter and fighter-bomber until it was replaced by the P-51 Mustang from the spring of 1944.

The final star-spangled Spitfires in the frontline were the Eighth Air Forces high-flying and unarmed PR XI photo-reconnaissance aircraft, flown by to the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group alongside F-5 Lightnings from November 1943. Ranging as far into Germany as Berlin, the PR Blue Spitfires provided critical target imagery both pre- and post-strike for the Mighty Eighths heavy bombardment groups through to April 1945.

All feature here across a series of black and white and colour images that all capture some unique aspect of the star-spangled Spitfire's illustrious service career.

A welcome addition to the very popular Images of War Series. This new book provides a remarkable selection of Spitfire images in US service. It includes some particularly rare full colour photographs – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.

Firetrench

For the aircraft historian and the modeller you get to see an excellent reference of markings applied to Spitfires in US service during the war in both Europe and the Mediterranean/Italy. You also get to see some of the aircrews as well as groundcrew working on airframes in various states of 'completeness'. My favourite part however has to be the final chapter which has some ever so atmospheric colour photos of wartime US Spitfires. For the modeller, one of these even has the Autocar tractor unit and fuel trailer which is the subject of a new Airfix kit last year, so a great bit of inspiration for a model diorama, among a number of others in the book.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

As featured in

The Times 17/3/17

About Tony Holmes

A Western Australian by birth, Tony Holmes was a published aviation author by the age of twenty. Moving to England in 1988, he has worked in aviation publishing ever since. Tony has written more than 50 books and edited a further 300 in the past 25 years.

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