John R Bruning’s Race of Aces is a fast-paced, exposé of the contest to become America’s top fighter ace.
Bruning explains how in WWII only 5% of fighter pilots became aces – that is they destroyed more than 5 enemy aircraft.
The other golden rule of fighter combat was to look after your wingman, they would protect you whilst you engaged the enemy and vice versa.
After reaching his eventual total of 40 Japanese aircraft destroyed he was awarded America’s top military honour the Medal of Honor and sent home for good.
Bruning contrasts Richard Bong with the experiences of Tommy McGuire the man who would finish second in the race of aces.

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