010766 - 86th FIGHTER GROUP IN WWII 1942-45
By Steve Luce
This volume is the commemoration of the sacrifices and dedication of a group of extremely courageous, though largely unheralded young men who volunteered to answer a call, and to prosecute to its finish, in a manner up close and very personal, a war not of their making so as to make the world free of tyranny and a safer, better place in which to live. Written by Steve Luce, the son of one of the members of the 86th, their story is presented by over 225 photographs from the veterans, most never before published and with personal stories about their war experiences. This is the story of the men and machines of the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group, 12th Air Force. The 86th was operationally assigned only two aircraft during WW II. From their combat debut in early July, 1943, out of Korba, Tunisia and later based out of Italy, until the summer of 1944 they flew the North American A-36 Apache or Invader. They also flew a small number of the straight P-51, the cannon-armed version of the same airframe, for pinpoint demolition work where the Browning .50 caliber weapon, of which the A-36 carried six, was considered too light, and bombs were considered too inaccurate. From the summer of 1944 until VE-Day they flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. In the interim between official assignments, they filled in with P-40s.
B/w photos, colour profiles