Pen & Sword's The Vought F4U Corsair

Author/Artists: Martin Bowman


Pen & Sword


$24.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 128 pages, softcover, 7.5 x 9.5 inches
ISBN: 978-1-52-670588-4

The US Navy was fortunate to have three really fine fighter aircraft during WWII. The F4F Wildcat, while not a match for the A6M, was rugged and tactics allowed this aircraft to be successful in the early war. Later the F6F was not only a match but superior to what the Japanese put against it and had the benefit of being an aircraft that was fairly easy to fly. Finally there was the F4U Corsair.

The was a plane that was probably the best of the lot, however, it was not easy to fly and took more skill to operate from carriers. This latter issue was the main reason it stayed with land based units of the USN and USMC until after the Hellcat had been widely integrated into the fleet. However, it was good enough to last post war when all the Wildcats and Hellcats had been scrapped.

This edition of Pen & Sword's 'Images of War' series covers the the use of the Corsair both during WWII and after. Indeed, the last battle in which the F4U fought was in the late 1960s. This edition differs slightly from the other books in this series I have read. Normally, those books are divided into specific sections with a short historical portion prior to each batch of related photos. This one has a single longer historical part and then is followed by all the photos. In addition to info provided by the opening section each of the images has a good caption describing more data on the plane.

The photos include some old friends and some that are new to me. All of them have been chosen for clarity and that alone adds to the quality of the book. No warbirds here as all are period photos taken from archives and collections. If you are a fan of the 'bent wing bird', this is one for your shelves.

January 2020

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Review book courtesy of  Casemate Publishing, where you can order your copy at this link

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