This special issue of the Aerojournal series is dedicated to the Corsair fighter in the US and foreign service. Coming in the usual format with a soft cover, it is written in French only and is a compilation of articles previously published in former issues. In addition to the original articles, this volume provides the reader with new pictures and color profiles.
The volume is divided into 8 chapters, each one being a former article. In the 116 pages, the authors included 142 pictures, 4 1/72scale plans, 40 color profiles and 4 line drawings. A number of charts are included in the different chapters too.
The first chapter entitled “Development and versions” details the difficult development of the Corsair as a carrier-borne fighter which led the Navy to decide to mainly use the aircraft on the ground. Consequently, the Corsair really started its operational life as a ground based fighter in the Pacific campaign within US Navy and USMC squadrons.
The second chapter entitled « Ground operations » presents the role of the Corsair squadrons of the USMC and the Navy in the campaign. In a first part, the author focuses on the operations Conducted from Guadalcanal. A second part is dedicated to the operations aiming at the destruction of the Japanese air force based at Rabaul and the last part covers the offensive operations from the Philippines to Okinawa. Some tables present the units involved in the different phases of the campaign.
The third chapter entitled “Black sheeps and hotheads” is fully dedicated to the VMF-214 commanded by Major Boyington. It is one of the longest chapters and is enriched by many testimonies of former pilots or Major Boyington himself.
The fourth chapter entitled “Pirates of the Salomons” focuses on the VF-17 Jolly Rogers. At the end of this chapter a table presents a list of the unit’s aces and their number of victories.
The fifth chapter entitled “Naval operations” briefly presents the operations conducted from the aircraft carriers by the Navy squadrons. The chapter concludes by a short summary of the results of each squadron in terms of victories and losses.
The sixth chapter entitled “In service of his Majesty” covers the operations conducted by the British Fleet Air Arm over the Atlantic Ocean. It also deals with the Corsair under the New-Zealand roundels.
The seventh chapter entitled “Mission accomplished” is the shortest one with two pages only and presents in large numbers the victories and losses of the units equipped with the different versions of the Corsair. The author also makes a comparison with the F6F Hellcat results.
The last chapter entitled “From a war to another“ presents the late versions of the Corsair from the F4U-4 to the F4U-7. It also focuses on the Korean war and concludes by a couple of pages dedicated to the Corsair in service with the French Aeronavale during the colonial wars (Indochina and Algeria) and the failed Suez campaign. Even if the war between Honduras and Salvador is mentioned, there is no picture of Corsair during this conflict.
The last two pages are a kind of book review presenting six books that the authors consider they are worth reading.
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Highs: The great deal of pictures some of which are coming from the authors' archives.
The numerous color profiles.Lows: Being a compilation, this issue is often redundant when it deals with the VF-17 and VMF-214.
There is just one map for the entire Pacific campaign.
The post-war use could have been more detailed, in particular the war between Honduras and Salvador.
Verdict: A good volume to read as an introduction to this famous aircraft.
About Olivier Carneau (bison126) FROM: AUBE, FRANCE
I have been in the hobby for years and I'm still learning.
As a modeler, I only build 1/35 modern military vehicles, mainly armored ones.
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