Share This Article

Mustang Aces of the 357th Fighter Group by Chris Bucholtz, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2010, $22.95.

Word has it that Osprey is ceasing its “Elite Aviation Units” series, but there may be a way around that—if the unit produced enough outstanding fighter pilots to rate inclusion in the original “Aircraft of the Aces” series. Chris Bucholtz has done just that in Osprey’s Mustang Aces of the 357th Fighter Group.

The first group in the Eighth Air Force to be fully equipped with the North American P-51B, the 357th went on to produce the most aces in the Eighth—42—and was credited with the most aerial victories in a single mission, 56. With that sort of history, even though many of its planes were profiled in the inaugural book in the series, Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force, the 357th had plenty of new color schemes to spare for the 36 profiles in this more specific treatment. Also available in abundance are firsthand accounts from the distinguished outfit’s pilots, including familiar names such as Leonard “Kit” Carson, John B. England, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, Richard Peterson, Robert W. Foy, Donald H. Bochkay, John A. Kirla and Chuck Yeager. A greater number of contributors to the 357th’s record get their due here, as do a colorful array of Mustangs decked out in the group’s red-and-yellow checked noses.


this article first appeared in AVIATION HISTORY magazine

Aviation History magazine on Facebook  Aviation History magazine on Twitter