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Toliver, Raymond F. and Trevor J. Constable. Fighter Aces of the U.S.A.. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1997.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; photos; Epilogue; Index.
Appendices: Ace Lists
In this oversize volume authors Toliver and Constable gather the complete records of every American ace from World War I to the present day: "...even Americans who fought with the Allies before American entry into World War I have been 'brought home' as American aces."
Although the appendices contain pilot-by-pilot tabular listings (with name, hometown, rank, fighter unit, and number of victories) for every ace in each of America's wars, the bulk of the book is a narrative account of fighter operations with an emphasis on the view from the cockpit and interspersed with first hand accounts. The account is divided into nine main sections:
Aces of World War I
An additional chapter provides an interesting glimpse at some of the enemy aces who faced the Yanks in the air, including Japanese, German, and Soviet pilots.
But the heart of the book tells the story of the rare breed of men (the authors say that only 1% of America's 100,000 military pilots became aces) who were credited with five or more aerial victories: what they were like and what they did.
Fifth Air Force pilots who flew with Dick Bong have often said they believe the Dick Bong-Thomas Lynch team to have been the hottest fighter combination in the Pacific. Certainly it was the hottest Army team in the theater. Lynch was an exceptional leader in his own right. With a final score of twenty aerial victories in World War II, Lynch proved himself to be among America's best fighter pilots. When Lynch teamed with Bong, a formidable fighting partnership was forged, as numerous Japanese pilots discovered.
Heavily illustrated with photos, including photographic essays of "America's Top Fighter Aces", "Aces Awarded the Medal of Honor", "The Magnificent Seven" (pilots who became aces in two wars), and "American Aces with Twenty or More Victories".
A "must read" for fighter fans.
Available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or directly from Schiffer.
Thanks to Schiffer for providing this review copy.
Reviewed 11 April 1998
Copyright © 1998 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone
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