This second volume in a detailed history of No.72 Squadron looks at the period in which the Allies completed the conquest of Tunisia, before invading Sicily, Italy and the South of France and fought their way up the Italian peninsula.
No.72 Squadron was involved in most of that fighting, first as a conventional fighter squadron and later as a fighter-bomber squadron. This volume gives us an almost day-by-day account of the fighting, with individual victories and losses, as well as the inconclusive days, and the accidents and incidents that accounted for many of the casualties suffered on both sides.
We also get a feel for the importance of the individual bases - not just the flying facilities, but the impact the local terrain and the nearby communities could have on quality of life, and also the difficulties posed by the frequent changes of base required of the fighter squadrons.
During the period covered in this book No.72 Squadron was involved in the final campaign in Tunisia, before moving to Malta to take part in the invasion of Sicily. The squadron took part in the fighting in Sicily and on the Italian mainland, diverting for a brief period to support in the invasion of southern France, before returning to Italy. After the end of the war the squadron moved into Austria, where it was faced with new problems, amongst them the first hints of the Cold War, and a lack of personnel as the services began to demobilise.
This book will of interest to anyone with an interest in No.72 Squadron, but is also to anyone with an interest in the air war in the Mediterranean and Italy, providing as it does an insight into to the way the nature of the war in the air changed in the second half of the war.
Corsica and Southern France
Squadron Commanders, 1942-47
Squadron Bases, 1942-47
Aircraft Operated by No. 72 Squadron, 1942-47
Operational Statistics, November 1944 to May 1945: Fighter-Bomber Sorties
'Pilot's Notes' for Messerschmitt Bf 109G
Squadron Song, 1943
Luftflotte 2 Order of Battle, Operation Husky, 10 July 1943
No.72 Squadron Pilots, 1943-44
Author: Tom Docherty
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation