Foreign Invaders: The Douglas Invader in Foreign Military and U S Clandestine Service

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Foreign Invaders: The Douglas Invader in Foreign Military and U.S. Clandestine Service by Dan Hagedorn and Leif Hellstrom A good example of a meticulously researched volume that is both readable and a reference source. The Douglas A-26 Invader is an unsung type, arriving late in World War II but serving later in both the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. Becoming the very definition of hot attack bomber, the Invader enjoyed nearly forty years of combat with military forces around the world. Foreign Invaders looks past the regular USAAF use of the type and delves into the A-26 in service in the smaller air forces of Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, as well as covert use by the USAF and CIA in Southeast Asia. All foreign use is covered, including lend-lease and U.S. military assistance programs. Much of the information and photos uncovered by Hagedorn and Hellstrom must have been extremely difficult to come by, so it is to their credit that it is presented in an authoritative yet readable fashion. Of particular interest is the Bay of Pigs fiasco, for which the A-26 played a major role, and the conversion of Invaders to the B-26K configuration for use in Vietnam by the USAF beginning in 1964. Also, the documentation of some covert A-26 gun running by Aero Associates out of Tucson, Arizona, (to Portugal) in 1965 is presented. Much legend and misinformation has surrounded the activity of this small group and it seems to be set straight here for the first time. The book is printed on high-quality paper with good photo reproduction. Type size is small to fit all the information in; even at 200 pages it is still packed full of material. Its the kind of book any serious aviation historian would have liked to have written. Joseph Lewis Shannon (born May 11, 1921 in Coal Valley, Walker County; died January 5, 2010 in Birmingham) was a military and commercial pilot and one of four U. S. pilots to fly missions in the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Shannon grew up in Fairfield, son of a pilot in Birmingham's 106th Observation Squadron in the Army National Guard, based at Roberts Field. At the age of six he was in the enormous crowd that welcomed Charles Lindbergh to Birmingham in 1927, just after his historic solo transatlantic flight. As a teenager, Shannon and his friends pooled their savings to obtain a J-3 Piper Cub, which he first flew solo in 1940 at the age of 18.


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