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The 406th Fighter Group in World War II

The 406th Fighter Group in World War II Book Review

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2013 Title The 406th Fighter Group in World War II
Author Steven A. Brandt Publisher True History Books
Published 2012 ISBN 978-0578122892
Format 100 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.99


Here is an interesting title covering the 406th Fighter Group from a perspective that most historians don't have - blood. I met author Steven Brandt at the IPMS/USA 2013 National Convention and was honored to receive this copy of his work for review here on Cybermodeler Online. The author is a retired US Air Force fighter pilot who flew the F-106 Delta Dart as well as the F-4 Phantom II. This resume might be enough to tackle a subject like this, but it was his father, Fred Brandt, who was also a fighter pilot during World War II that inspired this title. Of course the elder Brandt flew the P-47 Thunderbolt while assigned to the 406th FG. The author not only had his father's perspective of the war, but those of many of his squadron mates plus access to the archives of the 406th that are still maintained.

This title picks up the story of the 406th from the time they were activated as a fighter bomber group in Meridian, MS in 1943. The crews were assigned P-39 Airacobras as their initial aircraft before the first P-47s arrived by the end of 1943. This story walks through the deployment of the Group to England and its subsequent movements and actions to the end of the war, much of which are told from the perspectives of those who were there (including 2Lt Fred Brandt).

406th Fighter Group in World War II is well-written and is illustrated with period photographs out of the archives which include a few less-than-idea images that illustrate points that would otherwise be lost in history. The author has also assembled an impressive number of color profiles of aircraft from each of three squadrons with lots of information on how to replicate these schemes accurately. You'll recognize a number of notable subjects in these illustrations like 'Big Ass Bird II', 'Blooms Tomb' and 'Angie'.

This is a great resource for unit history from an operational perspective as well as a modeler's resource for replicating a variety of aircraft that have not found their way into decals (yet). You'll definitely want to get your hands on this title before it goes out of print!

Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Steven Brandt for this review copy!