Aviation Elite 7 charts the career of the 354th FG or 'Pioneer Mustang Group', the group responsible for debuting the Merlin-engined P-51B in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) in December 1943. Its arrival in England in the autumn of that year saw the group become the first fighter outfit to be assigned to the newly created tactical Ninth Air Force. Due to the Mustang's outstanding range, it was quickly seen as being the ideal bomber escort for the Eighth Air Force's long range heavy bombers, which were suffering terrible losses on daylight raids deep into Germany. The 354th FG was to subsequently spend the first seven months of its time in the ETO protecting Eighth AF bombers, and many pilots became aces during this period.
William Hess is the official historian for the American Fighter Aces Association, and is one of the most highly respected aviation writers of his generation. A B-17 crewman during World War 2, Hess has written over 40 books during his long and distinguished career. This is his first book for Osprey. Chris Davey has illustrated over a dozen titles in the Aces and Combat Aircraft series since 1994, as well as Aviation Elite 2. He has become the artist of choice for both USAAF ETO and RAF subject matter, proving his undoubted skill when dealing with large aircraft subjects such as the Halifax and Sunderland.