Avonmore's Pacific Profiles Vol 12

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould




$42.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 108 pages, softbound, 104 profiles and dozens of photos.
ISBN: 978-0-645-70044-2

 This latest volume of Pacific Profiles is a bit of a deviation from previous editions. In the past, the book has concentrated only on the subject's use in the Southwest Pacific (SWPA). However, the Mustang was a plane that entered the Pacific war rather late and never actually fought in the SWPA theater. However, the aircraft were initially offloaded in New Guinea and assembled then tested before flying them up to the Philippines'. So that means that this book would be more correctly described at detailing the P-51 units with the 5th Air Force. Note that the large black wing and fuselage bands along with the red/white/blue tail markings were a standard 5th AF ID marking.

As is often the case when a unit gets a new plane, the Mustang was not well received by those pilots used to either the P-47 or the P-38. Since most of the air war by early 1945 when P-51s entered the 5th Air Force consisted of recon and ground attack missions, quite a few planes were lost to small arms fire. Face it, liquid cooled engines couldn't take the battle damage from ground based guns like the air cooled P-47. However, the pilots eventually warmed up to the type mainly because they had no choice. They liked the longer range and greater maneuverability of the Mustang and in the end, most 5th Air Force fighter squadrons switched over the type. It was also the aircraft they took to Japan post war during the occupation and one of the reasons the P-51 was chosen to operate in Korea when that conflict started.

The book follows a standard format with each of the various units covered in greater or lesser detail, depending on how long they operated the aircraft. Each section shows the squadron's common markings and colors along with a number of great photos and profiles based on those photos as you can see by the example provided on the left. Each full color profile provides information on that particular aircraft. This is where much of the information is derived. No lengthy pilot stories or background history on this as it concentrates on the aircraft and units involved in the conflict. In addition to photos and profiles, you are provided an introductory section on the theater of operations as well as some nice art work, the latter spread throughout the book.

It all makes for a superb reference book for the modeler and enthusiast and well worth the price of admission. I very much like this series and look forward to each new volume. Most highly recommended.

February 2024

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