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by Ralph H. Wandrey
Self Published 2006 (4th Ed)
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This book is the memoir of World War II U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter pilot and ace Major Ralph H. Wandrey who served in the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 49th Fighter Group (49th FG), 9th Fighter Squadron (9th FS) in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). In total, he was credited with six aerial victories. On October 24, 1943 Wandrey flew a combat mission against Rabaul and was credited with a Japanese Zero shot down during a head-on pass.
Fighter Pilot has four printings with different publishers. Fighter Pilot (1950) first edition was published in 1950 with The Flying Knights logo on the front cover. The second edition published in 1974 by Carlton Press Inc with a blue cover with U. S. star and bar. The third printing in 1979 published by Hearthstone Books and sold as a spiral bound copy. The fourth edition was a self-published in 2006 by Wandrey as a black and white copy with spiral binding.
(Page 51) “Captain XII – The ninth squadron was again flying missions against Jap shipping when I returned to New Guinea, and as usual, I got roped in on it. Here is the transcript of one mission report:
Headquarters Fifth Air Force APO 925 General Order 229
Ralph H. Wandrey, O-729389, 1st Lt. 9th Fighter Squadron 49th Gp., is officially credited with the destruction of one enemy fighter type aircraft in aerial combat over Cape Gazelle, New Britain, at 1100 hrs. on 24 Oct. 1943. During an engagement between twelve P-38s and seventy Japanese fighters, this officer engaged and enemy aircraft in an head-on attack and shot it down in flames.
Now that our strikes at Rabaul had weakened that base, we had a little more time for ourselves, and I kept busy tidying up my ten and its surroundings. I collected some flowers and planted them by my tent.”
Review by Justin Taylan
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