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by Carl Molesworth
Osprey Publishing  2006
Soft cover
128 pages
photos, profiles
ISBN: 978-1846030420
Cover Price: $25.95
Language: English

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Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War
Aviation Elite Units Book 21

This book details P-51D Mustang Very Long Range (VLR) missions against Japan during 1945. The book summarizes the operations of the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) 7th Fighter Command three Mustang groups based on Iwo Jima: 15th Fighter Group, 21st Fighter Group and 506th Fighter Group.

The Mustang pilots who flew these missions over the ocean, often in the face of bad weather plus enemy action dubbed themselves members of the "Tokyo Club". Their primary mission was to escort B-29 Superfortress on bombing missions over Japan. Also to reign free and conduct low level strafing against targets of opportunity.

The book includes color profiles by artist Jim Laurier, World War II photographs from veteran collections and a list of aerial victory claims.

The pilots called themselves the 'Tokyo Club'. It was a simple task to become a member. All you had to do was strap yourself into a heavily loaded P-51 Mustang, take off from Iwo Jima (a postage-stamp sized volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean), fly 650 miles north over the sea - often through monsoon storms - in your single-engined aircraft to Japan, attack a heavily defended target in the vicinity of the enemy's capital city and then turn around and fly home while fretting over your shrinking fuel supply and perhaps battle damage as well. If your gas held out and you were not blown off-course on your return trip, you landed back at 'Iwo' after an eight-hour flight. Do it once and you earned membership in the club. Do it 15 times and you earned a trip home. But make one mistake or have one touch of bad luck, and you had a very good chance of ending up dead.

Review by Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
November 25, 2022

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