Stratus Publications' Polish Wings #23: 303 Squadron Mustang


Wojtek Matusiak, Piotr Sikora and Steve Brooking






Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softbound, A-4 format
ISBN: 978-83-65281-80-7

For those unfamiliar with this series, Polish Wings covers the various aircraft flown by the Polish Air Force since Poland regained its freedom from Imperial Russia in 1918. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the PAF and such is proudly marked on the book cover.

The book covers the use of the Mustang IV (in this case the P-51K) by 303 squadron. Modelers will be happy to know that ModelMaker produces decals for this aircraft. One thing about this variant of the Mustang IV is that they used the Aeroproducts prop and most of these had the louvers over the 'holes' in the forward cowling vent. Of course, there were planes  in the squadron that did not have that prop or the louvers, but they were few and far between.

303 Squadron had a long and distinguished record and only received the new Mustangs a few weeks before the end of the war. No victories were scored with these planes and indeed, only a few missions were flown. However, the unit did fly the planes for a few years post war, finally disbanding in November of 1946. One thing that really irritated the squadron's personnel was that the RAF changed their code letters from the RF they had worn throughout the war to PD. Many think this was a snub and showed the UK's lack of resolve towards the political situation in Poland. When one considers how well Polish units of all sorts fought for the British, the attitude of the government towards them both before and after the war is really inexcusable.

As in the other volume, this one is particularly rife with photos and page length color profiles based on those photos. I think that this particular feature is one that makes Stratus books so popular with enthusiasts of all kinds. I particularly like seeing a clear, color image made from a photo, which can often have people or equipment standing in them.

 It all makes for another outstanding book that is well researched, jammed full of images and with interesting stories. Another winner from Stratus and a book that enthusiasts should really consider for their library.

December 2017

Review book courtesy of MMP Books, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb aviation and modeling books. Also available in the US from Casemate Publishing and in Australia from Platypus Publications. You can get yours direct from this link.

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