The Jagged Edge of Duty

During World War II, millions of young men and women rose to serve their country in the Armed Services.  Hundreds of thousands were sent overseas, and many did not return.  Regardless of their branch of service, their rank, or the extent to which they may have seen combat, each individual has a story to tell, a story worth listening to.

Surely most stories will go unheard.  But this story about one pilot now has a voice.  The Jagged Edge of Duty describes Air Force combat in World War II, and relates how this pilot came to be in North Aftrica, what he did when he got there, and the results of his selfless service.

How is it possible that a young man teaching in a one-room schoolhouse could, in little more than 12 months, become the most capable, the most deadly, and the most feared combatant the world had ever known?  

And what strength of character made it possible for this young man to continue flying deadly combat missions - sometimes two or even three a day - after having seen his closest friends and tent mates lost in combat?

Plagued with dysentery, relentless combat, awful chow, and sleep that could not refresh, this man's experiences initiated him into what would later be called "The Greatest Generation".

Read Chapter ONE

You're invited to read Chapter ONE.

Just click on Chapter ONE page at the top of this home page

What's Being Said . . . . .

"Richardson recounts combat pilots' experiences from training through combat and uses them to discuss the aircraft, tactics and doctrine, training, base life, and aerial combat of the war.  This is the intimate account of one pilot at war, but also the anatomy of the fighter pilot experience in World War II"

From a Pilot Who Was There . . .

“This remarkable book tells more than just a “shoot ‘em up” account of individual pilots.  It illustrates the overall experiences of the 49th Fighter Squadron, recounts their missions in Africa, Sicily and Italy, and is a tribute to all P-38 pilots and crews who fought to win the greatest war in history”

Where to Find Jagged Edge

Or find it at your favorite local bookstore. . . . 

Sharing Source Material

Researching and writing this book has involved several years and extensive travel, including multiple visits to the National Archives and the Air Force Historical Research Agency.  

The material uncovered for this book may be of interest to other readers and researchers.

Accordingly, much of the source material used in The Jagged Edge of Duty is included on this website.  Just click on the Research Documents tab above, and scroll down through the several topics.

About the Author

ROBERT L. RICHARDSON came late to research and writing, having first worked for many years in international business, and later in international education.  He focusses on the small and unknown personal stories that occur within enormous global conflct; his current research centers on the South Pacific during World War II.  

Robert and his wife live in Spokane, WA., and have two children at university.  He enjoys their cabin-in-the-woods, where he spends his weekends honing his lumberjacking skills and fishing for bass.

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The Jagged Edge of Duty - A Fighter Pilot's World