Noted aviation historian Tillman (Whirlwind) has written the long-overdue first history of the little-known U.S. Fifteenth Air Force, whose mission focus during WWII was southern and eastern Europe. It is a solid chronological history of the unit, from its formation through war’s end, as it flew strategic bombing missions from bases in Italy. Tillman covers all of the major events in the unit’s history, including the famous raids on Ploesti, Romania—the heart of Axis petroleum refining—as well as the first bombing of Germany from the south. He also addresses many lesser known aspects of these operations such as the prisoner rescue of 1944, aerial reconnaissance actions, and the work done in cooperation with Yugoslavian partisans. The sections of the book dedicated to personal experiences in aerial combat bring the challenges and bravery of the aircrews to life. Tillman’s style is engaging and his history is an enjoyable and informative read for serious historians as well as for more general readers with an interest in aviation and military history. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/03/2014 Release date: 06/01/2014 Genre: Nonfiction
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