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Synopsis

This sixtieth-anniversary edition of the 1943 classic returns to print the exciting story of a U.S. Navy fighter squadron during the invasion of French North Africa in World War II. Lieutenants Wordell and Seiler, with the help of journalist Keith Ayling, vividly recount the exploits of their fellow aviators, who flew the sturdy Grumman F4F Wildcat from the deck of the USS Ranger (censors would not allow the authors to use the ships name in the original edition), as well as the carriers bomber and scouting squadrons. They cover not only the aerial operations but also the myriad problems that confronted the Navy during its first wartime use of carriers to support an amphibious landing. Among these was the need to protect civilians and cultural sites, particularly mosques.

Mac Wordell, who commanded the squadronthe Red Rippers was shot down and taken prisoner by the Vichy French. His explanation of what went on in the minds of the amiable French officers and men who held him captive is still intriguing and at the time was revealing to Americans confused by the political-military events in North Africa after the surrender of France to Germany in 1940. Ed Seiler, one of Wordells top fliers, narrates the story from the attackers side. Together they provide a spectacular account of cooperation and aerial daring. Brasseys reprint edition includes photographs of the main characters, their aircraft, their enemies, the American and French ships involved, and scenes from the North African theater of war.

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