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Operation 'Overlord' - Vol 2. USAAF 8th and 9th Air Forces

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Volume 2 - USAAF 8th and 9th Air Forces

Book by AIRfile


D-Day 6th June 1944, the start of the greatest amphibious operation in living memory; to retake Europe and regain control from the Axis powers. Operation Overlord in many ways pertains to the massive amphibious operations, involving warships, AFV's and the ground forces involved in the D-Day invasion of Europe; however, the air forces of these countries were also heavily involved and the United States Army Air Force provided a massive contribution of those air assets.

June 2014 will be the 70th anniversary of this great operation and there are bound to be various group builds; themes, and individual interests to build aircraft represented during that period. This volume, along with Volume 1, should be a very useful companion to aid the research of the markings and colours, and the planning, to build a model of an American aircraft at D-Day or the weeks following.

The Book

This is volume 2, of a two part set (Volume 1 being the RAF & Commonwealth air forces) covering the aircraft types and their markings which were used by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) based in Britain for D-Day, and subsequently in Europe, in the summer of 1944. The book softbound, A4 format, with 70 pages and is profusely illustrated with colour images, in profile and plan, of the U.S.aircraft taking part up to, during and beyond D-Day. There are 143 images, including 25 full four-view images of specific aircraft.

The book starts with a comprehensive narrative about the assembling and deployment of the USAAF's Eight (Strategic) and Ninth (Tactical) air forces for D-Day and the weeks following.


The main layout of the book is a series of pages displaying up to four aircraft in side profile; with each image having a description detailing the aircraft, type, Squadron, base and date this colour scheme was used. Additional notes are set below the description and provide information to identify certain differences from the standard marking scheme etc.


Some pages are dedicated to a single aircraft. These show a four-sided view of the aircraft, along with the description and historical notes. These layouts can be especially useful for the modeller as they depict an all round view of the colours and markings for that particular aircraft.


The book covers all aspects of the US Army Air Forces assets, including fighters, recce, PR and bombers. In some cases, the nose art of a particular aircraft is also included alongside the aircraft profile.


The USAAF could, and sometimes did, deploy up to 2,000 four-engine bombers on a single mission, to multiple targets. The various aircraft squadrons and bomber groups could be identified by the colourful tail markings which adorned these aircraft. An illustration of the 8th Air Force Bombardment Group is shown below as an example.


The wonderful illustrations throughout this book are interspersed with facts and listings, as shown in the example below. The list shows the breakdown of the VIIIth fighter command of the Eighth Air Force.


The identification of a fighter escort group became very important during long range escort operations; as such, bright colours were used to mark the various group aircraft.



This is a superb follow up to the first volume AIRfile continue to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller. The illustrations in this book are expertly produced by Peter Scott and should be of great help and importance for the modeller who may be looking to research the markings and colours of USAAF aircraft at the time of D-Day and the weeks following.

This book is literally packed with illustrations of the United States Army Air Force aircraft, in their various and often colourful schemes and markings. I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers wishing to build a kit of an aircraft during the period surrounding D-Day. Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of airfile-publications-logo.jpg

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Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or orders

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I bought this book recently & was certainly not disappointed. There are some great profiles & filled with informative text.


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I bought this book recently & was certainly not disappointed. There are some great profiles & filled with informative text.



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As with other books from this series, one should find reference photos. While wonderful eye candy, there are errors.

Volume on Op Torch had errors in the profiles of the He 111s.

In Vol 2 of Overlord, it appears the profile of Gabby's P-47 is not correct, and that color used for the profile of Passion Wagon, so odd. There are excellent color pictures of this aircaft out there.

While enjoyable and informative, investigate before relying.

Edited by Steven Eisenman

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