by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
Originally published on:
HISTORY** The 82nd Fighter Group was by any standard one of the most successful USAAF fighter units of the war. Its pilots destroyed 548 enemy aircraft in the air and were credited with several hundred more probably destroyed or damaged during its 30 months of service in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Indeed, only the 475th FG in the Pacific, with 553 kills, scored more victories with the P-38. No fewer than 25 pilots from the 82nd FG became aces, and 55 others scored three or four kills. The group was also awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations for its exploits in combat. The cost of success was high, however, for more than 250 pilots serving with the 82nd FG had either been killed in action or captured by war’s end. **
**Quoted from the back cover of the book.
THE BOOKOsprey Publications Ltd has released P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group as Number 108 in their Aircraft of the Aces series. It is a paperback book with 96 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, color illustrations and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-743-8. As the titles states the book examines and discusses the P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group.
- Training Daze
- North African Air War
- Mediterranean Isles
- Italy – Target And Home
- Strategic Lightnings
- Colour Plates Commentary
THE TEXTThe text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Author Steve Blake covers the P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group very well and goes into great detail. Anyone interested in P-38 Lightning Aces, the 82nd Fighter Group, World War Two aviation or the American P-38 Lightning and other period aircraft will find this book very informative and interesting. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the text. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
THE PHOTOGRAPHSThere are a total of 80 black and white photographs throughout the book. There is only 1 color photograph featured in this volume. As the title of the book suggests the majority of the photographs are of the P-38 Lightning aircraft as well as key 82nd Fighter Group aces. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. The photographs will be of interest to the aviation and military aviation enthusiast as well as the military historian.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
THE ILLUSTRATIONSThere are 12 pages of color aircraft illustrations by illustrator Chris Davey which cover a total of 34 aircraft and they are very well done. The color plates commentary at the back of the book provides detailed information about each aircraft shown. The front cover art was done by illustrator Mark Postlewaite. The scale aircraft modeler will find value in the color plates as they provide a visual reference to the various aircraft color schemes and markings that were used.
The color illustrations are of the following aircraft:
- P-38E 41-2092 of SSgt William J Schildt, 95th FS, Mines Field, Los Angeles, California, June 1942
- P-38E 41-2223 of Capt Robert E Kirtley, 95th FS, Mines Field, Los Angeles, California, June 1942
- P-38G-1 42-12727 of Capt Harley C Vaughn, 96th FS, Glendale, California, July 1942
- P-38F-15 43-2064 of 2Lt William J Sloan, 96th FS, Telergma, Algeria, February 1943
- P-38G-10 42-12871 Milly of 1Lt Claude R Kinsley Jr, 96th FS, Berteaux, Algeria, April 1943
- P-38G-10 42-13194 Twin Engin Injun II of Maj Harley C Vaughn, 96th FS, Berteaux, Algeria, April 1943
- P-38G-10 42-13054 Pearl III of 1Lt Charles J Zubarik, 96th FS, Berteaux, Algeria, May 1943
- P-38F-15 43-2112 “The Sad Sack” of Maj Ernest K Osher, 95th FS, Berteaux, Algeria, May 1943
- P-38G-5 42-12832 of 2Lt Louis E Curdes, 95th FS, Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, June 1943
- P-38G-15 43-2406 Cat Sass of 1Lt William J Schildt, 95th FS, Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, July 1943
- P-38G-5 42-12835 Snooks IV ½ of 1Lt William J Sloan, 96th FS, Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, July 1943
- P-38G (serial unknown) Cadiz Eagle of 1Lt Gerald L Rounds, 97th FS, Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, July 1943
- P-38G-10 42-13174 Hell’s Angel of Flt Off Frank J Hurlbut, 96th FS, Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, August 1943
- P-38F-15 43-2181 My Baby of 1Lt Wilbur S Hattendorf, 95th FS, Grombalia, Tunisia, August 1943
- P-38G (serial unknown) Chicken Dit of 1Lt Gerald L Rounds, 97th FS, Maddelina (Gerbini Satellite Field No 2), Sicily, September 1943
- P-38H-5 42-66825 Thoughts of Midnight of Capt Verl E Jett, 431st FS/475th FG, Dobodura, New Guinea, October 1943
- P-38G-15 43-2428 Tennessee Toddy of Maj Hugh M Muse Jr, 95th FS, Lecce, Italy, December 1943
- P-38G (serial unknown) Betty May of 1Lt Paul F Jorgensen, 97th FS, Vincenzo (Foggia No 11), Italy, January 1944
- P-38J (serial unknown) Janet of Capt Thomas A White, 338th FS/55th FG, Nuthampsted, England, February 1944
- P-38G-15 43-2434 Margie of 2Lt Paul R Mass, 95th FS, Vincenzo, Italy April 1944
- P-38G-15 43-2489 Barbara Ann of 2Lt Melvin E Wiedbusch, 95th FS, Vincenzo, Italy April 1944
- P-38F-15 43-2112 “The Sad Sack” of 2Lt Roland O Leeman, 95th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, May 1944
- P-38J-15 42-104035 of Maj Warren R Lewis, 433rd FS/475th FG, Biak Island, New Guinea, June 1944
- P-38J-15 43-28778 Billy Boy of Lt Col Ben A Mason, 82nd FG HQ, Vincenzo, Italy, June 1944
- P-38J-15 43-28679 Sweet Sue of 1Lt Robert C Griffith, 97th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, July 1944
- P-38J-15 42-104179 Penny II of Capt Charles H Pinson, 96th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, July 1944
- P-38J (serial unknown) Little Claire of 1Lt LeRoy L Lette, 97th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, July 1944
- P-38J-15 43-28796 Judy Ann of 1Lt Charles E Adams Jr, 95th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, July 1944
- P-38J-15 42-104145 Lucky Lady of Lt Col William P Litton, 82nd FG HQ, Vincenzo, Italy, August 1944
- P-38J-15 43-28769 Peg O’ My Heart of 1Lt Nathanial A Pape, 95th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, August 1944
- P-38J-15 42-104174 Snake Eyes of Capt Richard E Willsie, 96th FS, Vincenzo, Italy August 1944
- P-38J-15 42-104044 Battlin Bet of 1Lt Kenneth R Frost Jr, 96th FS, Vincenzo, Italy, November 1944
- P-38L-5 44-25638 Almost ‘A’ Draggin of Maj Clayton M Isaacson, 7th FS/49th FG, Lingayen, the Philippines, May 1945
- P-38J-25 (serial unknown) of 1Lt Lawrence P Liebers, 429th FS/474th FG, Langensalza, Germany, June 1945
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
There are no maps provided in this volume.
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:
There are no informational charts provided in this volume.
As with the text, the captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They provide information such as the aircrafts location, variations shown, aircraft markings, pilots and key individuals and other such valuable information. I did notice a few spelling and grammatical errors I read through the captions. They were minor and really didn’t take anything away from this volume. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
This is a very nice reference book that contains many useful photographs and illustrations as well as detailed captions. It details the P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
Osprey Publishing’s website.
You can take a look inside of the book on the Amazon website.
http://www.amazon.com/P-38-Lightning-Fighter-Group-Aircraft/dp/1849087431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349619195&sr=8-1&keywords=P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group
Kindle edition available at the Amazon website.
http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Fighter-Group-Aircraft-ebook/dp/B008ADEKQ4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1349619195&sr=8-2&keywords=P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group