Fleet Air Arm (Aircraft Specials 6085)
By Ron Mackay
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 2001 64 Pages
PDF 26 MB
Althougn overshadowed by their American counterparts, British carriers saw widespread service in all theaters of war from 1939 to 1945. The exploits of the Royal Navy crews who manned ships such as HMS Illustrious, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Trumpeter or flew combat in aircraft such as the Swordfish, Albacore, Gladiator, Fulmar, Seafire or Corsair are given the patented Squadron/Signal visual history treatment in this marvelous book written by Ron Mackay.
FLEET AIR ARM is an eye-opening volume when one's previous conception of WWII carrier combat is limited largely to U.S. carrier ops. Royal Navy crews went to war with an incredible collection of aircraft, some of which proved to be aerial duds. It's interesting to read of the achievements of early RN aircrews flying Swordfish, Gladiator and Skua aircraft - dive-bombing attacks against German shipping in Norway, crippling torpedo attacks against the Italian Fleet, etc. When later equipped with modern aircraft such as the Corsair, Hellcat and Avenger, British carriers were an even more formidable force.
Mackay's concise text is complemented by 150 black & white and color photographs and eight pages of color profiles by Don Greer. The color section is really the icing on the cake, featuring profiles of all the aircraft listed above plus Flycatchers, Nimrods, Rocs, Hurricanes, Kingfishers, Barracudas, Walruses and the unbelievably ugly Blackburn Blackburn!
For those looking for an introductory history of British carriers in action, Mackay's book is a great buy. The photographs alone are worth the price.