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Night Wings, USMC Night Fighters 1942-1953 - Aircraft Specials series (6083) Paperback – January, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications; First Edition edition (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897474198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897474191
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mike O'Connor TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
The USAAF, USN and Marine Corps all jumped into nightfighter development in the early days of WWII. Between November 1942 and May 1944, the Marines created eight VMF(N) squadrons, seven of which saw combat. Flying Hellcats, Corsairs and Venturas, these units scored over 100 night kills in WWII. In the Korean War, USMC units flying Corsairs, Tigercats and Skyknights claimed ten more kills, mostly over Bedcheck Charlies. The development of the USMC nightfighter program and the exploits of VMF(N) units in both wars are covered in this comprehensive, well-illlustrated 2000 Squadron/Signal volume by naval author Thomas Doll.

The American military's interest in airborne radar, dating from 1922, shifted into high gear after 7 December 1941. By November 1942 the first USMC nightfighter squadron - VMF(N)-531 flying PV-1 Venturas - was activated. Three more squadrons were formed in 1943 and four more in 1944. By September 1943, -531 was flying combat over the Russells. Most VMF(N) units were land-based and flew Corsairs or Hellcats with the distinctive wing-mounted radars. The bulk of the 106 night kills credited to WWII VMF(N) units fell to F4U-2 or F6F-3N/-5N aircraft. Corsairs scored two of the ten USMC Korean War night kills, the rest being split between F3D-2 and F7F-3N crews.

Doll does a workmanlike job of charting USMC nightfighter developments and the resultant combat action. I probably would have given NIGHT WINGS 4 1/2 stars if that was possible. It doesn't have enough first-person combat accounts for my taste but that's just me.

NIGHT WINGS is illustrated with over 140 black & white photos, eight color photos and eight color pages of great Don Greer profiles.

In summary, Doll's book is an enjoyable overview of a fairly large topic. As an introduction to the topic, it's right on. The photographs and artwork are icing on the cake. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to have this since our relative's flight group was shown in it. Thanks much. In pretty good shape. The history is great to have.
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