David Knights' Weblog

March 2, 2010

Book Review: 4th Fighter Group ‘Debden Eagles’

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 9:18 pm
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Book cover

4th FG book cover

Book Review: 4th Fighter Group ‘Debden Eagles’
Osprey Aviation Elite Units
By Chris Bucholtz
ISBN 13:978 1 84603 321 6

Review by: D.M. Knights IPMS/USA #17656 IPMS/Canada C6091

 Short review: Good book, buy it.

 Ok, longer review.  This book is part of the Osprey Publishing’s “Aviation Elite” series.  This series profiles specific units, rather than aircraft types.  As the title says, this particular volume profiles the U.S. 4th Fighter Group in their actions over Europe, from their formation from the “Eagle” squadrons of the RAF to on of the premier fighter units of the USAAC by the war’s end.  The author manages to do this in a mere 126 pages. 

 The book also contains many photographs, most tending to be photos of the pilots whose exploits are described in the book. However, there are plenty of black and white photos of the unit’s aircraft.  The photos are well reproduced. Additionally there are 36 color profiles of the left sides of the unit’s aircraft, Spitfires, P-47s, and P-51s.  While this is standard in these types of books, I do wish publishers would allow authors a few more pages so that full profiles, both sides, top and bottom could be illustrated.

The author clearly knows his subject.  The text of the book is filled not only with the statistics of kills and losses, but also with descriptions of the combat in the words of the pilots themselves.  I particularly like the fact that in several cases, the author is able to give the reader the name of both the victor and the vanquished in a particular combat, giving a modeler a chance to construct a “dogfight double”.

 Included at the end of the book is a short appendix with a listing of all the commanding officers of the 4th FG and the commanding officers of the three fighter squadrons that made up the unit.  In addition, there is a list of the aces, both air to air and air to ground, of the unit.   I recommend this book to anyone with even a casual interest in the subject.

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