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Aces of the 325th Fighter Group (Aircraft of the Aces) [Kindle Edition]

Tom Ivie , Chris Davey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

American pilots flew P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, and P-51 Mustang fighters over Noth Africa, Sicily, and Italy in the World War II Mediterranean Theater of Operations as part of the 325th Fighter Group.

The 325th FG was activated under General Order number 50 on 30 July 1942 and set up training operations at Theodore F Greene Field in Providence, Rhode Island. By mid-December 1942 the group was considered ready for combat and the alert for overseas duty arrived on 2 January 1943. The pilots and their P-40s departed on the carrier USS Ranger on 8 January and flew their aircraft off the vessel into Cazes airfield, near Casablanca, on 19 January 1943. After the remainder of the personnel arrived in late February, the group prepared for combat, and finally flew its first mission on 17 April 1943 as part of the Twelfth Air Force. During the next four months it participated in the North African campaign, and operations against enemy-held islands in the Mediterranean Sea. By the end of the Sicilian campaign on 17 August the 325th FG had scored 128 aerial victories, been the first P-40 unit to deliver 1000-lb bombs against enemy targets, and had escorted 1100 bombers without losing a single one of them to enemy action.
In September 1943 the 325th began its conversion to the P-47 Thunderbolt and in late December headed for its new base in Italy. During the next six months the 325th flew escort missions over Italy and the Balkan countries as part of the Fifteenth Air Force. During its P-47 period the 325th's pilots claimed 153 aerial victories and established itself as a very aggressive escort group. In May 1944 the 325th began converting to the P-51 Mustang, which it flew with great success for the remainder of the war. Thirteen of its 27 aces achieved this status while flying the Mustang. By VE Day the 325th FG had destroyed 537 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and 281 on the ground, as well as numerous ground targets such as locomotives, trucks etc. The group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations and its pilots earned numerous medals, including four Distinguished Service Crosses, for individual bravery in combat. The cost was high, however, as 148 pilots were lost in action - being killed or becoming PoWs.

Editorial Reviews


"The book is well researched and includes information from official reports as well as interviews with the pilots. This makes its read very well balanced between facts and first person narratives describing the details –and sometimes confusion- of aerial combat. There are many unknown images in the book, most of them coming from the collection of the official archivist of the 325th Fighter Group making this book of high historical value. The B&W pictures of the airplanes and the color profiles are inspiring, to say the least, for the modeler. Highly recommended to historians and modelers alike." --IPMS/USA

About the Author

Thomas G Ivie is a veteran of six years service in the US Army and a retired buyer of developmental parts for a major US jet engine manufacturer. He has had a life long interest in World War 2 aviation and has written eight books and numerous magazine articles on the subject. One of his books was Osprey AEU 8 - 352nd Fighter Group. His articles have appeared in the Museum of the United States Air Force's Friends Bulletin and in Air Classics magazine. The author lives in Fort Thomas, KY.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10961 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (January 21, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H12CPBW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,286,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Checkertail Clan Aces! January 27, 2014
The 325th Fighter Group was one of the most distinguished USAAF fighter groups of World War II. Flying three different aircraft during its lifetime, the Group won two DUCs. Ranked as the second-deadliest Air Force MTO fighter group, the Checkertail Clain claimed 537 air kills, Almost half of that total was credited to just 27 pilots. Tom Ivie relates the exploits of the ACES OF THE 325TH FIGHTER GROUP in this 2013 Osprey release.

Checkertail Clan ops fell into three distinct stages. The Group first flew P-40s from April to September 1943, claiming 135 kills. Early Group aces included Frank Collins, 'Zack' Taylor, Walt Walker and Bob Baseler. Converting to the Thunderbolt, the Group flew P-47s until May 1944, claiming 153 more kills. Among the Checkertail pilots making ace in the Jug were Henschel Green, Gene Emmons, Bill Rynne and Bob Barkey. The Group then flew P-51s till war's end. Among the Mustang-era aces were Art Fiedler, Wayne Lowry, Ben Emmert, Bill Aron, Gordon McDonald and Cullen Hofffman. While some of the aces scored all their kills in just one of those aircraft, other long-serving pilots ran up scores in all three aircraft. The Checkertail Clan's top ace, 'Herky' Green, for example, had three kills in P-40s, ten in P-47s and five in P-51s.

Ivie does a good job of relating the combat exploits of the Group's aces against a backdrop of the 325th's combat career. He includes many combat reports and reminiscences from the pilots that put the reader right in the cockpit. Aside from one instance however, he doesn't compare American claims against actual Axis losses. The book would have been more valuable had Ivie utilized German and Italian records to present a more accurate account.
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