Osprey’s Aircraft of the Aces series continues to be a great resource for the modeler and historian. This edition is no different. Written by noted historian, researcher, fellow modeler and editor of the IPMS/USA Journal, Chris Bucholtz, this soft bound book features 96 pages of information, stories, black and white photographs, and color profiles, featuring such noted pilots as Chuck Yeager, Bud Anderson, Kit Carson, and John England to name a few. The 357th featured some of the brightest colored Mustangs in the ETO.
The book follows the unit from its inception in 1942 with P-39s until the end of the war flying the latest P-51Ds. The unit produced 42 aces, more than any other unit in Europe, and it did this in just over a year of combat flying.
The writing style is easy to read and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed the first person accounts of the war in the air. There are other stories to be told as well. One of the really interesting stories includes one that stood out to me was from a 357th pilot in a POW camp. Another great story is the chapter on “Big Day” when the 357th shot down 56.5 aircraft shot down for a loss of three of their own. You get a feel for the fur ball that must have taken place that day. The stories are certainly inspirational.
The photos are all large, clear and black and white photos. The photos are large enough to be useable for a modeler.
In the center of the book there are 36 full color profiles that cover the P-51s from the B model through the K models at the end of the war. These alone show the color of the real things and how colorful they must have been in the air. Model builders will have lots of choices with this book.
All in all a very good book for the modeler, an enjoyable read, inspirational photos and profiles. A book that deceased unit historian, Merle Olmsted would be proud to put his name on. Great job Chris and Osprey.
Thanks to Osprey and IPMS/USA for review copy. You can get your copy by contacting Osprey at https://ospreypublishing.com or at your local or online book store.
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