2nd Tactical Air Force, Vol. 1: Spartan to Normandy, June by Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

By Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

It's greater than 30 years because the unique and hugely acclaimed heritage of 2d Tactical Air strength used to be first released, and it's been lengthy out of print. it is a thoroughly rewritten and enormously improved account of this crucial command's important contribution to the Invasion of Normandy and the defeat of the forces of the 3rd Reich in Western Europe. The 2d TAF, which, outfitted with rocket- and bomb-carrying Typhoons, Tempests, Spitfires, Mosquitos, Mustangs and medium bombers, flew flooring assault and tank-busting missions in help of Montgomery's twenty first military team because it complicated via Normandy and northwest Europe in 1944-45. The medium bomber devices struck at enemy delivery, ammunition dumps and conversation pursuits. The 2d TAF comprised British, Canadian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, French, South African, Australian and New Zealand crews. the 1st quantity during this three-book set bargains with the formation and enlargement of second TAF from its inception in June 1943 for the following year, and with the preliminary severe month of the invasion. This quantity, as with the 2 next volumes, is not just profusely illustrated with many little recognized images, and with Chris Thomas's masterly art, but additionally comprises day-by-day listings of all claims made opposed to enemy plane, and all losses, harm and casualties suffered by way of 2d Tactical plane and aircrews in undertaking their onerous tasks.

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1JG 2 north-east of Abbeville at 1219. As the Canadians reformed, 20 more fighters were seen, which this time were Fw 190s, and two of these were claimed damaged by pilots of 421 Squadron. JG 3 lost five Bf 109s, one of these flown by the Kommandeur, Maj Klaus Quaet-Faslem, who crash-landed. Carlson shooting down the aircraft flown by 28 victory 'Experte' Hptm Kurt Ebersberger, who was killed. A second Focke-Wulf was claimed damaged by two of Carlson's companions. Somewhat later 12 Mitchells of 226 Squadron set off to attack Schipol airfield at Amsterdam as 'Ramrod 284', while 24 more from 98 and 320 Squadrons undertook 'Ramrod 285' to bomb a blockade-running merchant ship, Miinsterland, in Cherbourg· harbour.

Johnson, 127 Airfield, Kenley, Lashendon and Headcorn, July-September 1943 RIGHf Johnson with Spitfire IXB EN398 'JE-J', his personal aircraft for most of 1943. From Ma rch 1944 to March 1945 he flew MK392 on nearly 200 operational sorties. Johnson, 125 Wing, Kastrup, May 1945 After the Rhine crossings Johnson was promoted to command of 125 Wing which was equipped with Spitfire XIVs and he flew at least two of these aircraft marked with his initials, MV268 and later, his last-known personal Spitfire, MV257, discretely marked as seen here in Copenhagen shortly after VE-day.

Of the three survivors, Fit Lt Peacock and Fig Off Jones were both killed in subsequent operations with 181 Squadron, but Pit Off Brandreth completed his tour with the Squadron, and later with 137 Squadron, afterwards commanding 181 Squadron shortly before it was disbanded nearly two years after this memorable day (which would be recorded in 181 Squadron's ORB as 'Black Monday'). Continued overleaf ABOVE: Squadron Leader Frank Jensen is debriefed by an Intelligence Officer afew days before the attack described here, while 181 Squadron pilots await their turn.

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