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FROM LIGHTNINGS TO MUSTANGS

479th Fighter Group: Riddle's Raiders - John Stanaway, Chris Davey

Simply put, this is a fine, comprehensive, and concise book about the last United States Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter unit to see action in Europe against the Luftwaffe during the Second World War.

Initially deployed to Britain in May 1944 flying the twin-engined P-38 Lightning, the 479th Fighter Group (as part of the Eighth Air Force's VIIIth Fighter Command) flew bomber escort and ground attack (tactical) missions. By the time, the 479th began transitioning to flying the superlative, long-range P-51 Mustang fighter 4 months later, a number of its pilots began to stand out by virtue of their bravery, derring-do, and flying skills. Men such as Art Jeffrey (who survived the war as the top ace of the 479th), Robin Olds (a West Pointer who would later distinguish himself as a top commander of a fighter wing during the Vietnam War, adding to his Second World War score of 13 aerial victories; Olds "made ace" flying both the P-38 and the P-51), Kyle L. Riddle, George W. Gleason, and Richard Candelaria.

The book also has photos and illustrations aplenty attesting to the outstanding combat record of the 479th. By war's end, it had earned 3 Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations.