RAF-in-Combat's Squadrons #36: Spitfire V - Special Reserve Squadrons
|Notes:||ISBN: 979-1096490-56-1. Available at www.raf-in-combat.com 36 Pages|
The latest in RAF-in-Combat's series on WWII RAF squadrons concentrates on the use of the Spitfire Mk. V in the RAF's special reserve squadrons. These units were formed in the 1920s and predated the Auxiliary Air Force units. As such, they had squadron numbers in the 500s. None of these units formed as fighter squadrons. As the AAF expanded, these units were integrated into the overall AAF chain of command.
Because war was imminent and there was a need for fighter units, two of these squadrons were converted into fighter squadrons in 1938. This meant that they were available for battle right at the start of the war. These two squadrons were 501 and 504. 501 was the first to convert to the Spit V and operated the type for a goodly period of time from October 1941 until March 1944. 504 got their later operating the from January 1942 until July 1944.
As such, most of this edition covers 501 as they were operational with the type longer and had greater success, though 504 was somewhat successful. Neither of the two units produced aces on the Mk. V as their area of operations were often not very busy sectors.
This book follows the usual format with a brief history of the type then the more extensive history of the units themselves. There's the usual information on victory and tables of losses as well as some great period photos and the usual number of superb full color profiles of aircraft used by these units.
Thanks to all the well done research and choice of illustrations, it makes for a superb addition to the series and its reasonable price is one that should appeal to many. These do make for great references for the fans of the RAF.
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