Avonmore's Pacific Profiles Vol 3

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould




$36.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 112 pages, softbound, profiles and photos.
ISBN: 978-0-6486659-9-1

The southwestern Pacific theater of operations was, for the Allies, a tough place to conduct a war. First of all, there wasn't all that much available with which to fight the war. The supply line was very long and just getting trained units into the field was a challenge in and of itself. Secondly New Guinea was fairly bereft of suitable air bases and other infrastructure.

However, the Allies had it better than the Japanese, who had poor supply lines and were always lacking in spare parts for their aircraft. At least for the Americans and Australians, replacements in terms of aircraft, crews and other items would eventually make it. For the most part, the SWPA was a USAAC/F and Australian show when it came to air assets. Sure, the Navy operated out of Guadalcanal and from carriers with the Marines eventually moving up the Solomon chain, but that was the Solomons. New Guinea was another kettle of fish.

This particular book concentrates on the A-20 in New Guinea from 1942-1944. Initially, these planes were those operated by Dutch and Australian crews using ex-Dutch DB-7s. Slowly, the USAAF built up units in theater. The types operated were mostly the A-20A and the A-20G with a smattering of A-20C aircraft being used. The biggest difference between the A and G model was that the G had a proper gun nose and a Martin power turret. Of course, early A-20Gs did not have this turret, which was normal as one simply did not stop the assembly line during war just to ensure all of a certain variant had the same equipment.

There were three Bomb Groups in theater by the end of things. Each of these groups had four squadrons and each squadron had some sort of marking or color to differentiate one squadron's planes from the others. The first was the 3rd Bomb Group which consisted of the 8th, 13th, 89th and 90th Bomb Squadrons. Next was the 312th Bomb Group with its 386th, 387th, 388th and 389th Squadrons. Finally, near the end of the campaign was the 417th Bomb Group with the 672nd, 673rd, 674th, and 675th Bomb Squadrons. Also included is 22 Squadron RAAF, the only Australian A-20 unit in theater and other miscellaneous units.

The book covers each of these groups and squadrons, showing each squadron's common markings and colors along with a number of great photos and profiles based on those photos. Each full color profile provides information on that particular aircraft. No lengthy pilot stories or background history on this as it concentrates on the aircraft and units involved in the conflict.

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

April 2021

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