“Nightfighter: Radar Intercept Killer” by Mark A. Magruder

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2009
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    “Nightfighter: Radar Intercept Killer”
    By Mark A. Magruder
    Pelican Publishing Company – 2012
    ISBN 978-1-4556-1531-5


    This is a book about Col Marion Milton “Black Mac” Magruder, the creator and leader of the US Marines VMF(N) 533 aka: “Black Mac’s Killers”, the top scoring Night Fighter Squadron in the PTO.

    The book is 303 pages long divided into 12 Chapters with an Epilogue, Reference Sources and an Index. It was actually written by Mark Magruder, one of the Colonel’s children (all his “Devil Pups’” names started with M, all six of them!).

    The book is a fairly good read and I found it difficult to put down. He started his flying career flying an F3F which he managed to crash land at night with a dead engine and the runway lights out – a pretty impressive feat.

    When the need for Night Fighters became evident during the Pacific Campaign, Magruder with and a handful of other Marines were shipped to the UK to learn Night Fighter Tactics from the RAF. The RAF’s policy was it would take a minimum of a year to learn proper Night Fighting tactics. They USMC only gave them 3 months. Soon after, he was flying a Beaufighter from RAF Nightfighter Squadron 256 attacking targets in Belgium Before being shipped back to the US the USMC pilots were awarded RAF Wings, per the book on page 113:

    “This is the only time active duty US Military pilots have been honored in this way”

    Not to give too much more away, whereas the RAF was using multi crew members for their Night Fighter operations, Magruder had to come up with a method of using single seat fighters instead.

    A solid 10 out of 10.

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