S u m m a r y
||Osprey Aviation Elite
Units No. 23
475th Fighter Group
by John Stanaway
with illustrations by Chris Davey
||Soft cover, 128 pages
GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Good coverage of the type in these theatres; logically and
chronologically laid out
Osprey's 475th Fighter Group is available online from Squadron.com
Hades, Clover, and
Possum were radio call signs from World War II. Individually, and
respectively they represented, the 431st,
432nd and 433rd Fighter Squadrons. Collectively,
they made up the 475th Fighter Group the crack P-38
Fighter Group of the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
475th Fighter Group is the subject of the
latest addition to the Aviation Elite Units series from Osprey
publications. The book is authored by none other than John Stanaway,
the official historian of the P-38 National Association and the author
of other Osprey Publications titles in their "Aircraft of the Aces"
series. The book is illustrated by Chis Davey, another name who will be
familiar to readers of Osprey publications. A traditional airbrush
artist, Chris has illustrated more than 20 other titles in the Osprey
With this pedigree, I
was expecting something a little more than information on the 475th
Fighter Group that is already available in print and on the internet.
I wasn't disappointed.
The author relates a whole lot more than just the bare facts of the
history of the 475th Fighter Group. Sure, it does tell you where and
when it was formed, who staffed it, the battles it fought, its triumphs
and its tragedies as you would expect. He also paints you a greater and
fuller picture of the life within a Fighter Group during WWII. He
includes the stories of the supply personnel's never-ending struggles to
keep the spares coming at the far end of an already lengthy pipeline and
of the servicing crews and their battles to field a Group's worth of
serviceable machines at all times.
The book comprises five
chapters and two appendices. The chapter list pretty well follows the
path of the 475th across the Pacific:
Be Joyful in Battle. (forming the 475th)
Training (in Australia) and First Combat (in New Guinea), The Wewak
Huon Gulf and Rabaul
Intrusion Northward, Rabaul, (The) Japanese Response.
Long Range Over Water
Black Sunday, Securing New Guinea, (the) Lindbergh Visit (and his
instruction in gaining greater range from the P-38), Balikpapan.
Climax in the Philippines, December Battles, Group Rivalry (with the
49th Fighter Group).
South East Asia and Beyond
(The) Death of Tom McGuire, The End in the Philippines, (The) Last
Aerial Victories, Supporting the Troops on The Ground, Postwar
The Appendices are:
Appendix 1 Victories claimed by the 475th Fighter Group
( by Squadron).
Appendix 2 475th Fighter Group Aces a list of all
pilots claiming five or more victories and their scores.
Appendix 3 Commentary on the colour plates.
Speaking of the colour
profiles, as you would expect, there are a few familiar ones amongst
them including Tom McGuire's various "Pudgys", Carroll Anderson's,
"Virginia Marie" and Charles Mc Donald's "Putt Putt Maru". There are
also some we have seen in decal format too like the "Florida Cracker",
"Blood and Guts", "Screamin' Kid' and "Slightly Dangerous", but happily
there are some that are new to me as well. The profiles cover the whole
range of P-38s flown by the 475th from the early F,Gs and Hs to the late
model Js and Ls. There is even a profile of a captured and suitably
decorated Ki-43 "Oscar" amongst them.
I was especially impressed by the black and white photographs within the
pages of the book. They are a good mix of "official photographs" and of
what appear to be photographs taken by members of the 475th themselves.
Normally, non-official photographs tend to be a little "general" but
some of the ones in this book are suitable for use as reference when
Click the thumbnails below to view larger
book consists of 128 pages printed on glossy paper between cardboard
covers. It contains 123 black and white photographs and 36 colour
profiles as well as colour renditions of the 475th's and of each
good book and a good read! It will appeal to both the armchair
historian and the modeller.
The front cover features a painting by Mak
Postlewaite. It is an illustration of Tom McGuire's encounter over Oro
Bay in New Guinea on 17 October 1943 with Japanese aircraft which led to
him bailing out of his P-38.
Osprey Publishing for the review sample
475th Fighter Group
Illustrator: Chris Davey
US Price: $22.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publish Date: February 7, 2007
Details: 128 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 19 March, 2007
24 December, 2007
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