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The Black Scorpions (Hardback)

Serving with the 64th Fighter Squadron in World War II

Military > Biographies Military > By Century

Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 384
Illustrations: B/W and colour
ISBN: 9781636243061
Published: 20th June 2023



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On December 6, 1941, despite his objections, James Lynch was discharged from the Army for being over age in grade. After the terrible events at Pearl Harbor, James Lynch was recalled to duty. Within a month he was part of the Air Corps, involved in a secret project to send air support to help General Montgomery and the Eighth Army. He joined the nucleus of officers in charge of the 64th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group. For the next 33 months, he fought across the top of Africa and then up through Italy.


The 57th Fighter Group arrived in Egypt just in time for the battle at El Alamein. How the United States was able to get the pink-winged P-40s to the battlefield baffled the Germans for many years. The Black Scorpions chased the Afrika Corps across the top of Africa, culminating in the Palm Sunday massacre where the Squadron helped shoot down 74 planes in a single engagement. For the Italian campaign, the Black Scorpions switched from P-40s to P-47s, changing from fighters to bombers and disrupting the German and Italian lines up the Italian Peninsula.


Through all the battles, including one with an erupting Mount Vesuvius, James Lynch kept an unauthorized diary. He also collected daily intelligence reports, newspaper stories, souvenirs, pictures, and letters from home. After the war he reminisced with fellow soldiers about their experiences, and eventually felt it was time to write the story of the Black Scorpions – this book is the result.

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