Operation 'Overlord' June-September 1944: Volume 2: USAAF Eight and Ninth Air Forces, Neil Robinson and Peter Scott

Operation 'Overlord' June-September 1944: Volume 2: USAAF Eight and Ninth Air Forces, Neil Robinson and Peter Scott

Volume 2 of AIRfile's study of the aircraft of Operation Overlord looks at the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, two massive organisations that included hundreds of individual squadrons operating a wide range of different types of aircraft.

The sheer size of the two American air forces means that the authors can only select a sample of squadrons to illustrate for each aircraft type. The introduction is also rather larger than in volume 1, covering the rapid evolution of US markings (in comparison the RAF was rather settled by 1944). In general US aircraft were rather more colourful than their British equivalents, at least in part because the heavy bombers operated in daylight, and so could use visual clues to identify each other and maintain formations, and to ensure that the right fighters escorted the right bombers. 

There is more variety here than in the companion book looking at the RAF. There the majority of two page spreads had four side views on the left-hand page, two side views, a top view and a bottom view on the right-hand page. This book contains a sizable number of pages in this format, but breaks from it more often. The heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force are thus represented with two side views per page, while there are special pages showing details such as the identification marks painted on the tails of B-17s and B-24s. There are also useful maps showing the UK air bases used by the 8th and 9th Air Forces and the continental bases used by units that moved to Europe after D-Day and during the advance into Germany.

As with volume 1 this will be a very useful guide for the modeller, providing a great deal of information on the paint schemes and markings of American aircraft, and the way in which both evolved during the course of the fighting in Normandy in 1944.

Section 1
Introduction

Section 2
8th Air Force aircraft colour schemes and markings
8th Air Force units and bases in the UK
North American P-51 Mustangs
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Lockheed P-38 Lightnings
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses
Consolidated B-24 Liberators
8th Air Force Bombardment Group Identification Markings

Section 3
9th Air Force aircraft colour schemes and markings
9th Air Force units and bases in the UK
North American P-51 Mustangs
Photo Reconnaissance P-51s and P-38s
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Lockheed P-38 Lightnings
Martin B-26 Marauder
Douglas A-20 Havoc
Northrop P-61 Black Widow
Douglas C-47 Skytrain
Miscellaneous types

Section 4
Allied airfields used on the continent June-September 1944

Author: Neil Robinson and Peter Scott
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 68
Publisher: Airfile Publications
Year: 2011


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