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Osprey's examination of the B-24 Liberator Units' participation in World War II (1939-1945). The B-24 Liberator was built in greater numbers than any other US warplane, yet its combat crews live, even today, in the shadow of the less plentiful, but better-known, B-17. Accounts of the 'Mighty Eighth' in Europe, and indeed many of the books and films that emerged from the greatest air campaign in history, often overlook the B-24, even though it was in action for as long as the Flying Fortress, and participated in just as many perilous daylight bombing missions.
The B-24 was heavily utilised in the North African and Mediterranean theatres by the USAAF's Fifteenth Air Force, with operations over the Ploesti oilfields in Rumania being some of the most famous missions undertaken by the big American 'heavy' in World War II (1939-1945). The stirling work of the Fifteenth Air Force is often overshadowed by the glamorous 'Mighty Eighth', yet the men flying the B-24 fought ceaselessly right through to VE Day. This is the third of five titles planned to chart the operational history of the Consolidated heavy bomber, and is the first single volume to exclusively cover the Fifteenth Air Force's B-24 units.
Ever present in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to VJ-Day during World War II (1939-1945), the B-24 Liberator proved to be the staple heavy bomber of the campaign. From its ignominious beginnings in the Allied rout in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, the bomber weathered the Japanese storm with a handful of bomb groups, which played a crucial role in checking the enemy's progress firstly in New Guinea, and then actively participating in the 'island hopping' campaign through the south-west Pacific.
This book is the story of a majestic bomber of the propeller era flying perilous combat missions against a sleek, nimble warplane of the jet age, the Soviet MiG-15. A very heavy bomber and a sky giant during World War II, at that time the B-29 was the most advanced combat aircraft in the world. By the time North Korea attacked its southern neighbour in 1950, thus starting the Korean War (1950-1953) the B-29 had been reclassified a medium bomber. Many of its crew members had fought their war and settled down to raise families and begin careers only to be recalled to fight another war on a distant Asian peninsula.
The ultimate piston-engined heavy bomber of World War II (1939-1945), the first production B-29s were delivered to the 58th Very Heavy Bomb Wing in the autumn of 1943. By the spring of 1944 the Superfortress was bombing targets in the Pacific, and by war's end the aircraft had played as great a part as any weapon in ending the conflict with the Japanese. Indeed, the final dropping of two atomic bombs from the B-29 convinced the Japanese to sue for peace. This book traces the wartime career of the B-29, as the aircraft went from strength to strength in the Pacific Theatre.
The first virtually all-jet war, the conflict in Korea saw F-86 Sabres of the USAF take on MiG-15s of the North Korean and Chinese air forces. Although the Allied pilots were initially taken aback by the ability of the communist fighter in combat, sound training and skilful leadership soon enabled Sabre pilots to dominate the dogfights over the Yalu River. In all 39 F-86 pilots achieved ace status, and a number of these are profiled in this volume, as are notable pilots from the US Navy, Marine Corps and Royal Navy and, for the first time, the handful of MiG-15 aces.