Jagdgeschwader 26, the German elite fighter unit, was more feared by the Allies than any other Luftwaffe group. Based on extensive archival research in Europe, personal combat diaries and interviews with more than 50 surviving pilots, Caldwell has assembled a superb day-to-day chronicle of JG 26 operations, from its first air victory in 1939 to its final combat patrol in 1945. A microcosm of World War II exists in the rise and fall of this famous fighter wing. For the first two years of the war it was an even match between the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs; but the scales tipped in favour of the Allies in 1943 with the arrival of the Eighth US Air Force and its peerless P-51 Mustang. The book has been endorsed by the top fighter commanders of three air forces: the RAF (Johnnie Johnson), the USAAF (Hub Zemke), and the Luftwaffe (Adolf Galland) and is considered essential reading for anyone interested in the aerial war of 1941 - 45.
DONALD CALDWELL is a retired research chemist and veteran of the US Navy. For the past 25 years he has researched archival sources and interviewed veterans, primarily from the Luftwaffe. His first book, JG 26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe, has been followed by seven others on the Luftwaffe: all have won critical and popular acclaim.