CHECK SIX!                                      JIM CURRAN, TERRENCE POPRAVAK JR.
There were no mission limits for a pilot in the Pacific during World War II; unlike in Europe, you flew until it was time to go home. So it was for James Jug Curran, all the way from New Guinea to the Philippines with the 348th Fighter Group, the first P-47 Thunderbolt outfit in the Pacific. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Curran volunteered to try flying in the blue yonder, and trained as an Army fighter pilot. He got his wish to fly the P-47 in the Pacific, going into combat in August 1943, in New Guinea, and later helping start the Black Rams fighter squadron. The heavy U.S. Thunderbolts were at first curious to encounter the nimble, battle-hardened Japanese in aerial combat, but soon the American pilots gained skill of their own and their planes proved superior. Bombers on both sides could fall to fighters, but the fighters themselves were eyeball to eyeball, best man win. Check Six! is an aviation chronicle that brings the reader into flight, then into the fight, throughout the Pacific War and back. This work, from someone who was there, captures the combat experience of our aviators in the Pacific, aided by pertinent excerpts from the official histories of units that Jug Curran flew with. It is a tale of perseverance, as Curran flew over 200 combat missions, and with the men of the 348th Fighter Group proved the Thunderbolt s great capability as they battled their way against a stubborn and deadly foe. This work increases the body of knowledge on the critical role of aviation in the Pacific War, as U.S. fighter pilots took the lead in our counteroffensive against the short-lived island Empire." 

A story of James Curran and the men that he flew with in a squadron of P-47 Thunder Bolts. The story begins with him volunteering in Chicago, and then going through a series of tests along with other men. Then 66 of them were sent to Oklahoma for training. They then went to Texas, and Florida. A group of them were sent to California and from there he sent to New Guinea to begin flying with squadron 348th. Other units already there flying made fun of them for the look of their planes, but after they were able to see their ability opinions changed. He also started another fighter squadron the “Black Rains”. He moved along with the different battles up to different Islands either doing bombing runs, protection of troops, ships, and aerial fighting with the enemy. He flew over two hundred missions. They of course started behind because of all of the planes lost during the attacks of Dec 7. Once they the air power got to full strength they were able to overtake the enemy not only on land but in the air also. This is a good story of one of those fighting groups of the air corps and the not only the missions they did but also some of the men that passed while serving. A story about the thunderbolts in the Pacific that you don’t hear about often enough. A good book. I got this book from netgalley.  I give this 4 stars.  Follow us at:

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