Avonmore's Pacific Profiles Vol 6

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould




$42.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 120 pages, softbound,  over 100 profiles and dozens of photos.
ISBN: 978-0-645-24690-2

A USAAF aircraft that was only used in the South and Southwest Pacific was the P-39/P-400 Airacobra. The P-400 was basically a P-39D that was built for the RAF. However, the RAF found the type to be unsuited for the European Theater so the majority of planes built ended up with the USAAF, who deployed them to Guadalcanal, New Guinea, and the chain of Allied controlled islands the led from Australia to Hawaii. This was so they could help to protect supply convoys from Japanese air attack.

While the P-39 is fairly well known to most enthusiasts, their unit markings and battle history is not. Consider that the majority of early P-39s sent into battle arrived without even the serial stenciled on the fin. This was left up to the receiving units so the style of stencils used varied widely and on many planes it wasn't applied at all. Many also assume that seeing the tweve exhaust stacks automatically means it was a P-400, but again early P-39Ds also had this exhaust arrangement. Then there is the situation where a unit may apply certain markings to a plane, but when sent in for repair, the plane was frequently sent to another unit who may have kept some of those markings in place and only added their own. Same thing happened when a unit transitioned to another type and handed its planes to other units.

 The book covers each of these units in greater or lesser detail, showing each 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. 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 plane and 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.

April 2022

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