World War II fighter planes were more akin to the Spads and Fokkers of the First World War than they were to today's combat jets. Eddie Rickenbacker and the Red Baron could immediately relate to the likes of Gentile, Bong, and Yeager. World War II fighter pilots in all branches of service, Army, Marines, and Navy, in Europe and the Pacific theaters still flew by the seat of their pants. Combat quickly became a one-on-one deadly duel. After the battle was over and the various squadron elements were scattered widely over enemy terrain, the fighter pilots then became navigators. Each pilot had to traverse the 500 or so miles back to home base, surely to be diverted only by possible enemy aircraft encounters, or to escort a struggling, defenseless allied bomber home to friendly territory. Dead Reckoning describes how it was in the cockpit of a Mustang fighter plane as a member of the 357th Fighter Group which scored a record 56 victories on January 14, 1945.