The Fight in the Clouds: The Extraordinary Combat Experience of P-51 Mustang Pilots During World War II (Paperback)

The Fight in the Clouds: The Extraordinary Combat Experience of P-51 Mustang Pilots During World War II By James P. Busha Cover Image

The Fight in the Clouds: The Extraordinary Combat Experience of P-51 Mustang Pilots During World War II (Paperback)

$30.00


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Get as close as you’ll get to a World War II–era P-51 Mustang without flying one yourself with this spellbinding collection of tales from the men who actually flew the planes into war.

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang first started appearing in real numbers in 1943, at the climax of the Allied campaign in World War II. Able to fly long ranges, it was the perfect escort, keeping bombers protected all the way from Allied bases in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific to a variety of Axis industrial targets and military installations and back. The Mustang would go on to provide pivotal air support on D-Day, and by the end of the war, the P-51 would be responsible for nearly half of all enemy aircraft shot down.

In The Fight in the Clouds, aviation writer and EAA Warbirds of America editor James P. Busha draws on interviews conducted with dozens of veteran P-51 pilots to trace the progress of war through the men’s exciting, chronologically organized experiences. You’ll encounter:

  • Mustangs tangling with Soviet-built Yaks
  • A Mustang ace shooting down an Me 262 Stormbird
  • An epic long-range battle over the Pacific Ocean
  • And a score of other riveting accounts underscoring the P-51’s versatility and its vital importance to the Allied victory


Bolstered by Busha’s own commentary and historical analysis, along with a gallery of rare black-and-white period photographs, The Fight in the Clouds offers a cockpit-seat view of one of WWII’s most celebrated aircraft and the men who bravely flew it into harm’s way.

Jim P. Busha is the director of publications at EAA and the editor-in-chief of Sport Aviation, Warbirds, and Vintage magazines. Jim is also a contributing editor of Flight Journal and has had numerous articles published in FlyPast, Aircraft Illustrated, Classic Aircraft, and Air &Space/Smithsonian. Jim is the author of The Fight in the Clouds (Zenith Press, 2014) and Wings of War (Zenith Press, 2015). An avid pilot and aviation historian, Jim owns and flies a 1943 Aeronca L-3 and Stinson L-5.

Product Details ISBN: 9780760379936
ISBN-10: 0760379939
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Pages: 264
Language: English

“Just when you think you have enough Mustang books in your library, Jim Busha comes along and makes buying another absolutely mandatory! His research and writing abilities shine in this very personalized tale of the famous P-51 and its heroic young pilots. The book begins with a moving tribute to those who gave their lives flying the fighter and then profiles the brilliant history of the aircraft throughout World War II. A great book from a master storyteller who loves and knows the subject!” —Walter J. Boyne, USAF (Ret.), former director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum



“The variety of stories in The Fight in the Clouds is exceptional, covering units in the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific Theaters of World War II, with RAF pilots as well. Today, when WWII veterans are ‘departing the pattern’ in growing numbers, the remembrances in Jim Busha’s book assume even greater importance for future readers. Well done!” —Barrett Tillman, author of Whirlwind: The War Against Japan, 1942–1945



“James Busha (editor for EAA’s Warbirds of America as well as EAA’s Vintage Airplane, to name only two of his literary accomplishments) has accomplished a wondrous job in the writing of, The Fight in the Clouds. Get this book to feel what it is like to fly a Mustang as well as what it felt like to be a World War II combatant in North America’s defining aircraft.” —Travel for Aircraft Blog, Seattle Post-Intelligencer