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Check Six!: A Thunderbolt Pilot's War Across the Pacific

Jim Curran

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ISBN 10: 1612002994 / ISBN 13: 9781612002996
Published by Casemate, 2015
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Check Six!: A Thunderbolt Pilot's War Across...

Publisher: Casemate

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Edition: 1st Printing.

About this title


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.

Table of Contents


Part I – Getting to the War
Chapter 1. The War Begins
Chapter 2. Pilot Training
Chapter 3. The Long Journey to the Pacific

Part II – War in the Pacific
Chapter 4. Into Combat
Chapter 5. R&R in Australia
Chapter 6. Fighting Westward
Chapter 7. Wakde
Chapter 8. With the Black Rams
Chapter 9. Leyte
Chapter 10. Into December
Chapter 11. Tanauan
Chapter 12. San Marcelino

Part III – Pacific Aftermath
Chapter 13. Going Home
Chapter 14. Home from the War
Chapter 15. Flying Again


Appendix 1. USAAF Pilot’s Issue Flying Gear
Appendix 2. Pidgin English Phrases used in SWPA
Appendix 3. Credit for Destruction of Enemy Aircraft, 25 October 1943
Appendix 4. 348th Fighter Group Air Combat Intelligence Report, 2 February 1944
Appendix 5. 341st Fighter Squadron Statistical Data for May, 1944
Appendix 6. Notes from Charles Lindbergh Lecture on P-47 Operations
Appendix 7. 460th Fighter Squadron Monthly “A” to “L” Report for November, 1944
Appendix 8. Unit Narrative Combat Report, 10 December 1944
Appendix 9. Press Release by Fifth Air Force to All Correspondents, Circa May, 1945
Appendix 10. Combat Zone Missions of James C. Curran, July, 1943 to April, 1945
Appendix 11. Awards and Decorations of James C. Curran
Appendix 12. Poem dedicated to the 341st Fighter Squadron
Appendix 13. A Brief History of the 460th Fighter Squadron
Appendix 14. 460th Fighter Squadron Combat Losses in World War II


About the Author:

Terrence G. Popravak, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, and served in the US Air Force for nearly 24 years at Stateside bases and overseas, retiring in 2010. He is a volunteer historian with the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing and frequently writes on the unit’s history, in addition to writing several aviation/military history web logs.

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