Organized in January 1941, just as the United States was building up military forces for its inevitable entry into World War II, the 57th Fighter Group was the first USAAF fighter unit to go into action in North Africa. It went on to establish a number of other "firsts" during its illustrious combat history in this theater. Flying P-40 Warhawks, the pilots of the 57th entered combat in August 1942 and fought throughout the final Allied advance from El Alamein through the Axis surrender in Tunisia, the capture of Sicily and the invasion of Italy. Converting to the P-47D Thunderbolt in late 1943, the 57th continued pounding the retreating Axis forces in Italy until the end of the war in Europe. The 57th Fighter Group produced a number of aces during the war, and was also recognized for its pioneering achievements in the fighter-bomber role.
About the Author
Carl Molesworth is an editor and writer for Reed Elsevier. He has been researching and writing about fighter operations in World War 2 for more than 25 years. His seven previous titles include four books for Osprey, "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the CBI," "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the MTO," "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific "and "Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War," In 2004, he won a Gold Award for his writing in the Trade Association Business Publications International's annual competition. The author lives in Mount Vernon, WA.
Retired US Navy Cdr Louis B Dorny is an acknowledged expert on America's most famous flying-boat, the PBY Catalina, and has long been fascinated by its crucial employment against Japanese forces in the Pacific War. He has interviewed numerous veteran crews during the course of his research over the past four decades. The author lives in Seattle, WA.
"Author Carl Molesworth is well regarded from his authoring of a number of books for Osprey and others. This one is just as superbly written as the others, bringing the experiences of the group's pilots and ground crew to the reader in a very interesting and easy to read fashion. Like all of Osprey's Aviation Elite Units books, this one has superb period photos, a great selection of color profiles as well as appendices that cover group statistics." -Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness