This book details the exploits of the highly skilled Naval Aviators charged with achieving air supremacy over New Guinea in their A6M2/3 Zero-sens.
The combat record of the Zero-sen in New Guinea has mostly been overstated, with little due being given to the constraining conditions under which the fighter operated. The air combats fought over New Guinea in 1942 between Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force (IJNAF) pilots and their Allied counterparts in P-39 Airacobras and P-40 Warhawks were often ‘trial and error’ affairs, with both belligerents being caught out by weather.
This study covers the key role played by governing factors including geography and climatic conditions, and examines the modified tactics employed by IJNAF Zero-sen pilots to help them cope in-theatre through the comprehensive analysis of RAAF, USAAF and Japanese operational after action reports.
Using first-hand accounts from both famous aviators and previously unknown RAAF and Japanese pilots, and specially commissioned artwork, leading South Pacific historian and author Michael John Claringbould sheds new light on the air war fought over the wilds of New Guinea during the course of 1942.