This book charts the story of the lesser kwn aces who flew the mighty Republic aircraft as a tactical fighter-bomber with the Ninth Air Force, rather than as a long-range escort. It also details the exploits of the Mediterranean-based 325th FG, which was the only P-47 group within the strategic Fifteenth Air Force. Thunderbolt aces within the Ninth Air Force, particularly, were rare, despite some 15 groups flying the fighter. Supporting troops on the ground rather than searching out aerial foes, was the name of the game for the men of the Ninth. However, with the Luftwaffe often opposing such sorties through to April 1945, more than 20 pilots had the opportunity to score five or more kills and 'make ace'.
Jerry Scutts has worked in the field of aviation publishing since the late 1960s, writing over 40 books that have covered a broad spectrum of subject matter ranging from US Navy floatplane fighters in World War 2 to the exploits of the USAF's Phantom IIs over Vietnam. His specialist areas are the Luftwaffe and the US Army Air Forces in World War 2, and he originally appeared on the Osprey list as long ago as 1977, when he wrote the second volume in the now much sought after Air Cam Air War series - many of the jacket illustrations in this series were also painted by him. Jerry has been a regular contributor to Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series since its inception in 1994.