AIR: No Kugelfang!

On sullen summer days, when rain falls and clouds gloom over Long Island, the Army's Mitchel Field is a hive of brown, earthbound pursuit planes. With their tails low, their tapered fuselages and wings tilting toward the grey sky, the P-40s on the grass and the paved tarmac look unnaturally still; they seem always to be straining for release and flight.

To Mitchel's pursuit pilots, the air battles of World War II are very real and very near—nearer than any civilian realizes. For Mitchel Field is not simply a training base for the First Air Force but the defensive center for...

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