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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recording The Cost of Victory!, July 20, 2009
This review is from: Double Nickel- Double Trouble (Hardcover)
DOUBLE NICKEL, DOUBLE TROUBLE is truly a rara avis. Former 55th fighter pilot Robert Littlefield relates the story of each pilot lost from the 55th HG, 38th FS, 338th FS and 343rd FS whether due to flak, fighters, mechanical failure, weather, etc. Littlefield himself was one of those statistics, being downed on 13 August 1944. Thus DOUBLE NICKEL, DOUBLE TROUBLE is mostly a record of loss not triumph. As such, it provides a rare and sobering look at the price the Allies paid in men and machines to ensure final victory.

After brief sections summarizing the 55th FG's record, the POW experience and "The Fighter Pilot in Combat," Littlefield launches into a chronological list of operational losses starting with 2/LT. High Gillette, who was KIA on 18 October 1943 in a P-38H. The last loss - 2/LT. Phil Erby - was KIA on 17 April 1945 in a P-51D.

In all, 181 pilots were KIA, MIA or POW and Littlefield documents each one with first-person reminiscences, squadron or group records, loss reports, German capture or crash scene reports, etc. In most cases a photograph of the pilot is included. The entries range from a few short paragraphs to 5-7 pages, mainly POW or evader acounts.

Most of these pilots were lost in combat so details on air battles and ground strafing are included but reading DOUBLE NICKEL, DOUBLE TROUBLE is indeed a sobering experience. It puts a very human face on all those dry KIA/MIA/POW statistics. Recommended.
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Double Nickel- Double Trouble
Double Nickel- Double Trouble by Robert M. Littlefield (Hardcover - January 1, 1993)
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