Book Review: Bluenoser Tales-352nd Fighter Group War Stories
By Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Title: Bluenoser Tales-352nd Fighter Group War Stories
Author: Robert Powell, Marc Hamel, and Samuel Sox
One of the finest and most decorated squadrons in World
War II, the 352nd Fighter Group, with their blue nosed Mustangs blazed a way across Europe. Until now we
are familiar with pilots like Major Preddy, Meyer and Turner, but this book talks about them and many of the
other pilots and their exploits.
This is my kind of book. It is like listening to the veterans talk
"shop". The only thing missing are the hands and the smell of cordite
in the air. You are treated to each pilot telling his "there I was"
story. These stories are fascinating and exciting in 32 "chapters".
There is a color section featuring the pilots circa 1943-44. You
see the P-47s, P-51s and other aircraft in well exposed black and
white and color photos. Many of the 400 photos are previously unpublished.
Also included are many first rate paintings of the aircraft by noted
aviation artists. An interesting tidbit that you don't see very
often is the inclusion of typical wartime publicity cartoons covering
certain pilots and their stories.
There is the story of the "correct" Blue used on the nose of the
P-51s. It appears that the color is British Deep Sea Blue with no
matching FS number.
If you like personal stories about air combat this is your book. The book follows the exploits of the founding
members of the squadron from the first air battle after Pearl Harbor to flying the P-80 at the end of the war. The
first CO, Jack Donalson, talks about his first victory on the day after Pearl Harbor in the Philippines. All the chapters
address a certain period in the group's history, including the death of George Preddy. Particularly interesting is the
group's story of New Years Day and Operation Bodenplatte. Also the shuttle mission to Russia in Operation Frantic
is covered. There are some pretty humorous stories that haven't been told before as most accounts are from the
4th FG point of view. The chapter also highlights the differences with the Russians that would eventually make up
the Cold War.
If you are looking for modeling inspiration look no further than
this book. If the stories aren't enough to motivate you then the
photos will be. There are photos of the fighters but also of the
support equipment such as the staff cars and trucks. All of Preddy's
machines are seen in photos from the P-40 to his last P-51D.
There is nothing about this book not to like. It is well written, interesting reading, personable, at times funny and
others tragic, but it is very informative. This is the type of book you can read and reread. If you like there I was
stories then you couldn't ask for a better book.
Thanks to Aeroplane Books for the review copy. You can obtain your copy by ordering from them directly
at www.aeroplanebooks.com. The direct link to the book is
https://www.aeroplanebooks.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=&idproduct=48890 Let them
know you heard about it here.
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