Author(s): Robert F. Dorr
The U.S. Marine Air Wing began in 1917 with only five officers and 30 enlisted men. During WWII, it grew to 61 squadrons and over 10,000 pilots. Flying slow, cumbersome Grumman Wildcats against the far superior Japanese Zero, Marine pilots used hit-and-run tactics with deadly effect during some of the war's hardest battles - Guadalcanal, Wake Island, and Midway. By August 1943, Marine air superiority was established. At the war's end, 125 Marines were air aces and eight had won Medals of Honor - including top ace Major "Pappy" Boyington, whose "Black Sheep Squadron" challenged Japanese fighters to combat on their own radio frequencies. From Vietnam to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Marines' world-class pilots and state-of-the-art aircraft continue to rule the skies. Marine Air is the first illustrated oral history of the "Flying Leathernecks" and their unwavering commitment to protecting their comrades and the country that they have never let down - no matter what the odds.
Some of the best stories of aerial combat [told] by the actual pilots. ("Charleston Post and Courier")