The Vought F4U Corsair...
...from Pen & Sword
Title: The Vought F4U Corsair
Author: Martin W. Bowman
Publisher: Pen & Sword
A new Images of War book from Pen & Sword and author Martin Bowman, and a fine photo reference on this famous fighter.
The 121-page softcover book starts with a text Introduction of 30 pages, which gives an excellent background to the service life of the Corsair, particularly with the US Navy, US Marines and the Royal Navy. The aircraft stayed in production for 14 years and just over 12,500 were built. With the story of the Corsair in the text, the rest of it is told through the marvellous collection of photos which the author has assembled. There is even more information is the useful captions for each one. The Corsair was a large aircraft for a single-engine fighter, and just how tough it was is well illustrated in some of the pictures. With an extensive combat career, not just in WW2 but on through the Korean War as well, where it continued to provide valuable support even among the jets which were then in service. In the photos we see the Corsair on airfields in the Pacific, with palm trees around them, and on the decks of both US and British aircraft carriers. With the very distinctive gull wing design, it also features in a lot of the images with the wings folded, and stowed close together on deck. Equally, there are a number which show us dramatic shots of accidents and fires when damaged aircraft returned to land on deck. The photos are in black & white, but still we see quite clearly a mix of camouflage schemes, from camouflaged Royal Navy machines to the overall dark blue of the US Navy.
The Corsair was a powerful aircraft, capable of standing up to the demands of carrier operations in the Pacific and combat operations in WW2 and beyond. The life of some of them has gone on beyond that, and they remain popular air racers to this day, some of which are included among the images. Lots to interest the aviation historian/enthusiast along with some excellent detail that modellers will love. Another good addition to the Images of War series.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.