Download Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific by Andrew Thomas PDF

By Andrew Thomas

The japanese military Air Force's invasion of Burma in the course of 1941-42 used to be initially a major good fortune opposed to the RAF who struggled to aid the Chindit excursion at the floor. but the coming of the Spitfire was once to alter the fortunes of the RAF and the end result of the conflict. Proving a big advance to morale, the Spitfire performed a wide half in defeating the enemy and protecting the following Allied increase via Burma, preserving the floor troops and supplying important offers. the coming of Spitfire devices at this significant time additionally had an instantaneous influence in blunting enemy air raids on Calcutta and alongside the coast of East Bengal, while in Northern Australia, the Spitfire used to be known as upon to guard opposed to shock raids through the japanese. overlaying the little documented aerial warfare over Burma, this publication tells the tales of the fifty four aces who flew opposed to the japanese, and in addition those that fought in India and Australia. Full-color art finds the markings and paint schemes of this most-famous of British planes, when first-hand bills and archive images convey the aerial battles of Burma, India and Australia to existence.

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Inevitably, there was a degree of overclaiming, but amongst the successful pilots was Fit Lt Gordon Conway with a brace of bombers and a Ki-43. He too achieved ace status with these kills, having claimed three 'Oscars' in May 1943 while flying the Hurricane. Conway also probably destroyed a second Ki-43, as well as damaging a third fighter and a 'Sally' too. He recalled; 'We had climbed out to sea over the Bay of Bengal, and at something more than 30,000 ft we turned back towards the coast. Looking left, I saw a mass of Japanese aircraft moving from left to right in a southerly direction several thousand feet below me.

Ninety minutes later, a further sweep was made by Ki-43s, and Lt Hokyo, Sgt Maj Takura and Cpl Kondo were all killed as they attempted to strafe Allied troops. Other 'Oscars' were also engaged, and No 607 Sqn's pilots were ultimately credited with six victories. Among the successful pilots was staff officer Sqn Ldr Pat Lee of No 165 Wing, who recalled the first of his six claims (three of which were destroyed); 'On 15 January, when flying with 607,1 saw my first Jap. We were above 20,000 ft, and had the advantage of height.

Two days later No 607 Sqn moved to 'George' Strip, while No 615 Sqn relocated to Nazir so that it could better escort Vengeance dive-bombing raids. The loss of No 81 Sqn was offset with the arrival of No 152 Sqn at Double Moorings, near Chittagong, from Baigachi. Although there were still some skirmishes to be fought, the action of 21 February was the last engagement on this scale to take place over the Arakan, for the focus of the fighting had now switched further north to Imphal. Japanese forces both on the ground and in the air had suffered serious losses, allowing the Allies to seize the initiative.

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