USAF Fighter Stories, a New Selection


The author is based in Suffolk, England, where the remains of WWII airfields are still much in evidence and where there are a number of museums large and small dedicated to preserving the heritage of the air war of 1939-1945. During WWII, Eastern England was a static aircraft carrier with airfields built within seven miles of each other. Even in 2005, a pilot over flying the area will see the runways and the marks in the ground where runways have been dug up and the materials used for new construction work. Many control towers remain, together with the ubiquitous Nissen and Quonset huts used for accommodation, stores, workshops and even for hangers. To visit one of these long abandoned airfields in a misty winter’s day the ghosts of those days can still be felt. Movies and actual war film are frequently played on television. So much is preserved and yet the one fragile element is the memories of those who took part in the conflict. The author has brought us a new selection of these personal memories from the fighter pilots of the USAAF, the ‘little friends’ who escorted the bombers on daylight raids deep into occupied Europe. These memories are so clear and evocative, of brave young men who faced such daunting odds and overcame, and of comrades who fell in battle.

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