British and Italian biplanes clashed over the Mediterranean at Crete and Malta, and in East and North Africa early in World War II. Both the Gloster Gladiator and the Fiat CR.42 Falco represented the peak in the development of the biplane fighter, which could trace its lineage back to World War I. However, by the time both aircraft entered service in the late 1930s, they were already obsolete. Nevertheless, they gave sterling service on all fronts in the Mediterranean and Africa in 1940-41. Indeed, the CR.42 was the Regia Aeronautica's staple fighter in both North and East Africa, Greece and over Malta in 1940-41, during which time its pilots routinely fought British and Commonwealth squadrons equipped in the main with Gladiator biplanes. Some bitter dogfights were fought between these two types as the Allies attempted to gain control of the skies over North Africa, Greece and East Africa. Both types were flown in the main by highly experienced pre-war pilots, and this in turn made for some closely fought engagements. The first known combat between the CR.42 and the Gladiator took place on 14 June 1940 over North Africa and the last engagement between the two types occurred on 24 October 1941 over the East African front.
The definitive account of F-4 Corsair Units deployed in the Korean War (1950-1953), this book tells the story of the 26 US Navy Squadrons, most of which were carrier based, and the 6 Marine Corps F-4 squadrons that flew combat missions against the North Koreans.
Drawing from a vast repository of personal interviews with F-4 pilots, the author paints a harrowing picture of the deadly combat of this often forgotten air war. Included in this volume is the story of Lt Guy Bordelon, the US Navy's sole ace of the Korean War, who flew an F4U-5N night-fighter against the night raiders sent up by the Korean Air force. Backing up the text is a vast number of previously unpublished private photographs that bring the stories of these pilots to life. Finally the book contains extensive appendices that detail every unit deployment by carrier, air group, Corsair model and tail code. Also included is a detailed list noting every Corsair lost in the war, with tail number, pilot, date of loss and the unit.
Soviet fighter aviation suffered terribly at the hands of the Jagdwaffe in the first year of the war in the east, and with the arrival of JG 51 and its Fw 190s on the Stalingrad Front in September 1942 things only got worse for the hard-pressed Red Army Air Force pilots. However, help was on its way in the form of the re-engined LaGG-3 fighter, which was fitted with a powerful air-cooled M-82 radial engine. Designated the La-5, the new fighter was capable of withstanding more punishment than the fragile LaGG-3, and it was also appreciably faster and had a greater rate of climb. It was more of a handful to fly, however, but the new generation of better trained pilots who were led into combat by the survivors of 1941-42 quickly found the La-5 (and, later, the improved La-7) very much to their liking. Arriving in the frontline in August 1942, the new Lavochkin fighters soon found themselves pitted into action on the Central Sector against the equally new Fw 190As of JG 51. The first clashes took place in November of that year, and from then on the Focke-Wulf fighter would regularly clash with its counterpart from Lavochkin.
Illustrates all the users of the F-51/RF-51 Mustang during the Korean war in contempporary colour. Accompanying the photos in this volume are detailed captions, quotes from pilots in action and appendices listing the various units that served in Korea.
Although a hangover from World War II, the seemingly antiquated B-26 Invader proved to be one of the hardest-worked assets employed by the UN forces in Korea for the duration of the conflict. Indeed, B-26s of the 3rd Bomber Group had the distinction of being the first aircraft to drop ordnance on the North Koreans within hours of the communist invasion of the south. Capable of dropping bombs and napalm, firing off unguided rockets or simply strafing targets with its battery of .50-cal Browning guns, the B-26 was equally as effective during the day or at night. Over 200 bomber and reconnaissance variants saw action in Korea, and many were adorned with some of the most colourful nose art ever carried by American combat aircraft in any war. This volume includes a gallery of this artwork, with text outlining the exploits of the pilots featured, and appendices listing the units involved.