Aces and Wingmen II
Tom Frisque, Editor
Aviation Usk, 1999
55 Color profiles, 119 Color Photos, over 1000 B&W photos
All photos ©1999 Aviation Usk. All Rights Reserved.
This is the much-awaited sequel to the outstanding Volume I of Aces and Wingmen II, and boy was it worth the wait. After the first volume came out, everyone wanted to be in the second volume. The massive amount of information presented in this volume reflects this, with nearly 1200 photos crammed into the same 256 pages. Tom Frisque of Aviation Usk has spent the last ten years on this book, carefully selecting photos, collecting stories, and sorting massive amounts of information. Having seen the first volume, I was half-expecting the second to have duplicate pictures. This is not the case. Each volume complements the other with very little duplication. An outstanding effort, considering the massive amount of information presented between the two volumes!
I'll bet you're wondering just what is in Volume II. Well, here's a little preview. Upon opening the book, you are greeted by a layout similar to Volume I, with everything arranged according to group, then squadron. Scattered throughout the photos are 21 stories and all of them talk about 8th AF combat. Each story is from a different squadron, and the actual pilots wrote six of them. These stories tell what it was like to fly a Mustang on a mission over the skies of Europe, and these alone would make the book worth the price.
But the stories are only a small part of this volume. By running the pictures to the edges of the page, nearly 1200 photos are presented. But there are more than just photos here. Each picture has been meticulously researched, and a comprehensive caption written. For instance, here's the caption for the photo to the right:
"Another nice color shot from the 355 FG/358 FS. This is Lt. William McGinty's P-51B-5-NA, 43-6834. He took part in many of the difficult strafing missions the 358th FS was involved in during the summer of '44. On June 8 he and Lt. Cleveland Brien Jr. shot down a German He-177 bomber over occupied France. McGinty successfully finished his tour but this a/c was lost Aug 15, when Lt. Mike Graczyk was hit by flak strafing an airfield near Lingen, Germany, and became a POW."
This caption is typical of the captions spread throughout this book, making it an incredible reference volume. The photo quality is also superb, with a small sampling shown here. Each of these photos has a complete caption as the one above. Nothing is left out, and the 10 years of work really does show. In addition to all this there are 55 wonderful profiles, done in the same manner as Volume I.
Tying this all together is the index. The index alone took over a year to compile, and in following along with the rest of the book, it is incredibly thorough and complete. Over 1800 names are listed, and a great amount of time and effort has been taken to provide complete information. In addition to last names and rank, first and middle names are given, where known. This becomes very useful when you're looking at a list of Johnsons or Smiths.
Coupled with the first volume, Aces and Wingmen II is the most complete and thorough Eighth Air Force aces reference out there. If you have every 8th AF book out there, you'll still want to get these two titles, purely for the amount of research done on the photos. If you're new to the 8th AF, then these two volumes are a perfect start, as there is very little that isn't presented. Either way, you cannot go wrong with Aces and Wingmen II.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933