Aces of the 78th Fighter Group


Author: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Illustrator: Chris Davey

This is book number 115 of the Aircraft of the Aces series of books available from Osprey Publishing.

Dubbed the ‘Eagles of Duxford’, the 78th Fighter Group (FG) was unique in being the only fighter unit in the ‘Mighty Eighth’ to fly the P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang operationally. Arriving in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) in November 1942, and eventually committed to combat five months later, the 78th, along with the 4th and 56th FGs, ‘wrote the book’ on long-range fighter escort by VIII Fighter Command in the ETO. This volume charts the group’s highs and lows during its two years in action from Duxford, focusing on the exploits of the 51 pilots who achieved ace status with the 78th during World War 2. These men included Capt. Charles London, the very first Eighth Air Force ace, and Maj Quince Brown, who was the 78th’s most successful aerial ace prior to being murdered by the SS after he was shot down over Germany. By VE Day, the ‘Eagles of Duxford’ had downed 316 aircraft and destroyed a further 320 machines on the ground during strafing attacks on German airfields.

The contents of this book are;

  • 30 July 1943
  • Beginnings
  • Against the odds
  • Battle of Germany
  • Liberating Europe
  • Coming of the Mustang
  • Color Plate Commentary
  • Index

With the excellent color plates and black and white pictures, this is an excellent reference book for the historian, modeler or wargamer. The modeler will enjoy the photographs as they can challenge his creativity to create dioramas or mini-scenes based on the books content. Overall, Aces of the 78th is an excellent reference work that will appeal to a wide range of individuals.

Available from Osprey Publishing

MSRP UK £13.99/ US $22.95/ CAN $23.95