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Osprey Aviation Elite Units No. 24


332nd Fighter Group Tuskegee Airmen


by Chris Bucholtz

with illustrations by Jim Laurier


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Aviation Elite Units No. 24
332nd Fighter Group Tuskegee Airmen
by Chris Bucholtz
with illustrations by Jim Laurier
ISBN: 9781846030444
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 128 pages
Price: GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Good coverage of the type in these theatres; logically and chronologically laid out
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by
Rodger Kelly

Osprey's Tuskegee Airmen is available online from Squadron.com




Tuskegee Airmen and Red Tails are just two of the appellations given to the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.  The former name derived from the fact that its pilots were trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama USA, and the latter because is aircraft wore bright red noses and tails.   Apart from the outstanding record it carved for itself during World War II, the 332nd Fighter Group was also unique in that it was comprised of African American servicemen.   

This new book from Osprey Publications (number 24 in its Aviation Elite series) does justice to the 332nd’s proud history and achievements.  The book is authored by Chris Bucoltz, a name that will surely be familiar to modelers and visitors to HyperScale through his contributions to the Plane Talking forum (not to mention the fact that he is the aircraft editor of Internet Modeler website) as well as his articles that he has had published magazines such as Flight Journal, Air Enthusiast, Plastic Kit Constructor and the IPMS/USA Journal..  The book is illustrated by Jim Laurier, another name that will be familiar to readers of Osprey publications through his artwork in at least five other of the Osprey books. 

The book chronicles the long war of the 332nd Fighter Group and details its battles both in and out of the skies from its formation in October of 1942 through to its disbandment in October of 1945.  

The book comprises ten chapters, three appendices and an index.  The individual chapters and appendices are as follows: 

·         Tuskegee 6.   Small beginnings.  Flying Training.  Class Graduation.  

·         The Fighting 99th.  33rd Fighter Group.  Base Move.  Fighting to Survive.  Into Italy.  Aerial Combat Again.  Invasion Protection.  

·         Airacobras and Thunderbolts.  Volcanic Eruption.  To War in the Thunderbolt.  More Missions.   

·         Enter the Mustang.  Macchi Menace.  Increased Mission Rate.   

·         On the Deck and Above the Clouds.  Screening Airfield Attacks.  Carnage at Grosswarden. 

·         The Toughest Month.  More Losses. 

·         Tightening the Noose.  Strafers. 

·         Grinding the Reich Down.  Better Weather, More Missions.   

·         Jets and Jubilation.  Longest Mission.  More Aerial Victories.  Last Aerial Victories. 

·         Lockbourne and the End.   

The Appendices are: 

·         Appendix 1 – Victories of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group. (sorted by Squadron). 

·         Appendix 2 – Pilots with Multiple Confirmed Aerial Kills – a list of all pilots claiming more than two confirmed aerial kills.  (from highest downwards) 

·         Appendix 3 – Commentary on the colour plates.

As per normal Osprey practice, the book contains colour profiles of the machines flown by the 332nd Fighter group.  As can be expected given the fame of the 332nd Fighter Group, their aircraft have been well represented in decal format.  Some of these are amongst the profiles but there are others as well (more scope for the decal manufacturers?).  The profiles are pretty well across the range of the machines flown by the group and include a T-6, P-39, P-40, P-47 as well as their well known P-51s. 

What is really impressive are the black and white photographs.  They are a good mix of "official photographs" and of what appear to be photographs taken by the Group’s members themselves.  There are some excellent sharp and clear “overall” photographs showing nose art and group markings as well as brilliant public relations type close-ups of pilots in their cockpits.  These really are great especially if you are looking for reference to detail the inner frames and locking mechanism on the “coffin lid” P-51B canopies. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The book consists of 128 pages printed on glossy paper between cardboard covers.  It contains 99 black and white photographs, 28 colour profiles and colour renditions of the Group and each of its member squadron’s insignia.

Chris Bucholtz has done a great job with this one and the vast amount of his planning and research is evident in what you hold in your hands.  His non-dramatic and informative writing style shines through making it an easy and relaxed read.

Recommended to the modeller as well as the historian.


The front cover features a painting by Mak Postlewaite.  It illustrates Lieutenant Roscoe Brown dispatching an Me-262 during the 332nd’s long range mission to Berlin and back on 24 March 1945.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

475th Fighter Group
(Aviation Elite 23)
Visit Osprey Publishing
Author: Chris Bucholtz
Illustrator: Jim Laurie
UK Price: £13.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: January, 2007
Details: 128 pages; ISBN: 9781846030444
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Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 01 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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