The 14th Fighter Group in World War II by John W. Lambert

The Book

The Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942 included the USAAF’s Lockheed P-38 equipped 14th Fighter Group. Flying long-range, high-altitude escort missions as well as low level ground support sorties, the 14th engaged in three months of grinding attrition. Another squadron arrived from the U.S. along with new P-38s and the revitalized 14th returned to the Mediterranean air war in May 1943 where they flew combat for another two years battling the German, Hungarian, Romanian, and even the Russian air forces.

The Author

I could not discover anything about the author, John W. Lambert, although he has written several important books about World War II.

My Thoughts

Eleven chapters follow the 14th Fighter Group from preparations for war, through Operation Torch, Tunisia, Sicily, and the invasion of Italy to The Grinding Finale. The book is filled with photos (even some in color), maps, appendices, and a bibliography. A very fine history of one fighter group’s contribution to driving out the Nazis from Europe.

My uncle, 2Lt. Daniel S. Wilson, and his best friend, 2Lt. Harrison E. Wold, were replacement P-38 Lightning pilots, joining the group in late 1944. Chapter 10, Workin’ on the Railroads, tells about some of their missions. Lt. Dan Wilson (37th Fighter Squadron) is pictured on page 122, with the caption that he was shot down and killed while strafing over Austria on 19 February 1945. (Harry Wold wrote me during the 1990s that he came home after the war “without a scratch on his plane.”)

Dan Wilson was one of the three Wilson brothers who lost their lives during the war. The Wilson family story is told in Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II.



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