2nd Tactical Air Force, Vol. 3: From the Rhine to Victory, by Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

By Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

It's greater than 30 years because the unique and highly-acclaimed historical past of 2d Tactical Air strength used to be first released, and it's been lengthy out of print. Now finally, a very rewritten and enormously improved account of this significant command's important contribution to the Invasion of Normandy and the defeat of the forces of the 3rd Reich in Western Europe has been ready. The second TAF, outfitted with rocket- and bomb-carrying Typhoons, Tempests, Spitfires, Mosquitos, Mustangs, and medium bombers, flew floor assault and tank-busting missions in help of Montgomery's twenty first military staff because it complicated via Normandy and northwest Europe in 1944-45. The medium bomber devices struck at enemy shipping, ammunition dumps, and conversation ambitions. The second TAF comprized British, Canadian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, French, South African, Australian, and New Zealand crews.

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145 Wing had now been rejoined by 340 Squadron, which now began converting to Spitfire XVIs. 80 ftr wx recce (SW Zwolle) Rheine a/I ftr (MOnsterl e/I b/o 4m SW Cleve hbf b/o SW Soest c/I cnk catAc/E "17Feb45 hit htc a/train catAc/E A Bofors gun crew struggles to keep its weapon serviceable in the ice and snow although the field of fire does not look too good with 308 Squadron's Spitfire IXs (soon to be exchanged for MkXVls) lined up behind. 1NJG 1, south of Lippstadt. Hegarty jointly shot this down, but as they did so the rear gunner obtained some vital hits on Harding's aircraft, and he did not return; only one member of the German crew survived.

Nonetheless, Flak again took its toll, two French-flown Spitfires of 345 Squadron, a Spitfire FRXIV of2 Squadron, a 268 Squadron Mustang, Tempests from 3 and 486 Squadrons, and several Typhoons all being lost during the day. One of the latter, a 609 Squadron aircraft, suffered engine failure and was down to ground level when the engine picked up, enabling the pilot to climb away; unfortunately he was unable to avoid the surrounding trees entirely and was eventually obliged to bale out of his crippled aircraft into Allied territory.

Wg Cdr RWBaker, DFC (second from right!. Commanding Officer of 487 Squadron, was killed during Operation Clarion; five Mosquitoes from this unit failed to return. 87, Rosieres-en-Santerre The efforts of 2nd TAF as a whole were summed up as comprising 1,735 sorties by all three main operational Groups, resulting in claims for 200 locomotives, wagons, trucks and barges destroyed and 1,200 damaged, plus over 100 rail cuts, for a cost of 33 aircraft (the further 12 losses represented by Typhoons, Spitfires and Tempests lost during the day's general operations).

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