By Warren Thompson, Chris Davey

The american citizens lagged at the back of their ecu contemporaries in army aviation within the overdue Thirties, and it took the conflict of england to rouse an remoted the US to the need of getting airplane which can protect pursuits opposed to evening assault through bomber airplane. With the aid of the RAF, the significance of constructing this type of really good fighter strength used to be given most sensible precedence. This booklet examines the varied plane kinds that have been utilized by the USA during this position, starting with the early 'stop-gap' conversions just like the TBM Avenger, Lockheed Ventura and the A-20 Havoc (P-70).
It is going directly to aspect the strive against background of the more moderen and radar built Hellcats, Corsairs and Black Widows that have been designed to find enemy plane (both German and jap) in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. It was once those plane that registered many of the kills made by means of the army, Marine Corps and USAAF in 1944-45. ultimately there are extra debts from the yankee pilots who frolicked at the frontline on trade excursions with the RAF within the ETO/MTO, studying the intricacies of flying radar-equipped combatants just like the Mosquito and Beaufighter at evening, ahead of the USAAF taking receipt of the much-delayed P-61. With complete colour profiles and infrequent pictures, this is often an soaking up account of a frequently underestimated flying strength: the yankee Nightfighters.

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Alrhough a relarively saFe one, rhe ditching oprion did not appeal ro Dear. He rhereFore decided ro do everything he could ro keep his Hellcat in the air until he was able lO land on his carrier; 'I still had my belly rank, so iF I didn'r have ro chase any snoopers and no emergencies cropped up, 1jusr mighr be able lO pur ir down on USS BeLLeau Wood (CVL-24), because it was launching rhe first CAP. IF 1 succeeded, it would be some kind of record because the normal cruising range of an F6F, without raking exrreme conservarion measures, was abour 6+ hours.

While rhe ground siruarion in rhc Ardenncs rcmaincd in doubr For rhe Allies, rhe nighr sky conrinucd ro be busy. Herman Ernsr and Edward Kopsel had also downcd an inrruder on rhe nighr oF26127 Dccember. Ir had been ren days sincc rhey had shor down rhc Ju 87, and wirh rhe increase in LuFrwaFFc acriviry over rhe Ardennes, rhe crew Fclr anorher kill was overdue. Flying 1)-61 "BORROWED T/ME" on parrol near rhe Rhine, rhey had already cncounrered a Ju 88 rhar had evenrually eluded rhem aFrer a long chasc.

Ir was a rexrbook situarion, and I'd done ir so many rimes in pracrice rhar ir seemed as narural and easy as turning a corner in an auromobilc. We peeled off in turn inro a wing-over high-side run, which broughr us in verrically roward rhe bogies. Since I was ar rhe end of our formarion, I picked our a rarger near rhe end of rheirs. 'I'm sure rhey were aware of us, and rhar rheir rear-sear gunners were firing ar us, bur I was rorally oblivious ro anyrhing except gerring thar baby in rhe gunsighr ring.

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