This is the little-known story of the 406th Fighter Group, a famous but unsung P-47 unit in the European theater of operations (ETO) in WWII. The 406th was the first unit in the ETO to employ the 5-inch, high-velocity aerial rocket (HVAR) secret weapon. Even if not immediately familiar with the 406th, many readers will have seen a frequently published gun camera photo of a 406th FG P-47 flying into a massive explosion. The Thunderbolt was an incredibly fearsome weapon in the hands of units like the 406th, in one case even causing a German commander to surrender his 20,000 troops to the US Army without a ground battle taking place. The "Raiders" were praised by Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, for their aerial defense of his paratroopers when they had run out of ammunition. In 2005, a Thunderbolt in the colors of the 406th was featured by the US Postal Service in the 2005 American Advances in Aviation stamp series, the only P-47 to appear on a US stamp. This illustrated history of the 406th Fighter Group serves as a historical reference for students of the air war in Europe. With many rare images and unique color profiles, the book will also prove a great resource for modelers and artists.
Written by Steven A. Brandt. 112 Pages. Hardback.