Organized in January 1941, just as the United States was building up military forces for its inevitable entry into World War II, the 57th Fighter Group was the first USAAF fighter unit to go into action in North Africa. It went on to establish a number of other "firsts" during its illustrious combat history in this theater. Flying P-40 Warhawks, the pilots of the 57th entered combat in August 1942 and fought throughout the final Allied advance from El Alamein through the Axis surrender in Tunisia, the capture of Sicily and the invasion of Italy. Converting to the P-47D Thunderbolt in late 1943, the 57th continued pounding the retreating Axis forces in Italy until the end of the war in Europe. The 57th Fighter Group produced a number of aces during the war, and was also recognized for its pioneering achievements in the fighter-bomber role.
About the Author
Carl Molesworth, a resident of Mount Vernon, Washington, USA, is a former newspaper and magazine editor now working as a freelance writer and editor. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor or arts degree in English, Molesworth served as an enlisted man in the United States Air Force in 1968-1972. He has been researching and writing about fighter operations in World War 2 for nearly 30 years. His nine previous titles include three books in Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series, two in the Elite Units series and one in the Duel series. The author lives in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Praise for 57th Fighter Group - First in the Blue…
"Author Carl Molesworth is well regarded from his authoring of a number of books for Osprey and others. This one is just as superbly written as the others, bringing the experiences of the group's pilots and ground crew to the reader in a very interesting and easy to read fashion. Like all of Osprey's Aviation Elite Units books, this one has superb period photos, a great selection of color profiles as well as appendices that cover group statistics." -Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness