Allied Strafing in World War II

A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle

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About the Book

Among the offensive aerial missions employed in World War II, air-to-ground gun fighting was one of the most valuable. Strafing, which involved the extensive damage of ground, air and naval forces by pilots flying in deadly, low-altitude skies, helped the Allies to their victory. This historical text examines the role of strafing in combat, particularly during World War II, but also during the Korea and Vietnam wars. The nature of gunnery, strafing and gunfighting are explored within the context of particular missions and actions. First-hand accounts and gun camera film evidence contribute to the exploration of this most dangerous form of combat and honor the courage of America’s veterans who served as pilots or aerial crewmen.

About the Author(s)

William B. Colgan is a veteran of the Army Air Corps who served in World War II and in the Air Force in Korea and Vietnam. Now retired, he lives in Florida.

Bibliographic Details

William B. Colgan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: 179 photos, 5 maps, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4887-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5835-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1 • The Pioneers: World War I      9

2 • Pearl Harbor: World War II      24

3 • Behind the Gun Sight: Gunnery      34

4 • Behind the Gun Sight: Strafing      48

5 • Gunfights: Enemy Air Forces      72

6 • End of the Luftwaffe      91

7 • Gunfights: Enemy Support Forces      102

8 • Brenner Pass      132

9 • Gunfights: Enemy Ground and Surface Forces      141

10 • The Rhone Valley      171

11 • Mindoro Beachhead      180

12 • Trail of Gun Smoke      186

13 • Those Who Followed: The Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Beyond      209

Bibliography      257

Index      259

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent”—Air Power History.