SIGNED BY THREE PILOTS OF THE 23RD FIGHTER GROUP
MOLESWORTH, Carl. Sharks over China. The 23rd Fighter Group in World War II. Washington and London: Brassey's, (1994). Octavo, original boards, original dust jacket. $275.
First edition of this history of the 23rd Fighter Group—successor to the Flying Tigers in China—signed on a specially designed bookplate by three pilots, all of them aces with each credited with over ten victories.
By the time the 23d Fighter Group returned to the United States in December 1945, it had accounted for the destruction of 621 enemy planes in air combat, plus 320 more on the ground. It sank more than 131,000 tons of enemy shipping and damaged another 250,000 tons. It caused an estimated enemy troop loss of more than 20,000. These statistics were compiled through a total of more than 24,000 combat sorties, requiring more than 53,000 flying hours, and at a cost of 110 aircraft lost in aerial combat, 90 shot down by surface defenses and 28 bombed while on the ground. This copy signed on a specially designed bookplate by the following pilots, all aces: David "Tex" Hill (credited with 12-1/4 victories), Bob Scott (13 victories) and Ed Rector (10-1/2 victories). All are profiled and their exploits chronicled in Molesworth's book. Owner blindstamp to half title.
A fine copy.