Avonmore's Pacific Profiles Vol 9

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould




$42.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 124 pages, softbound, 100 profiles and dozens of photos.
ISBN: 978-0-645-24697-1

This latest volume of Pacific Profiles is on the P-38 in the South and Southwest Pacific theaters of operation. For those who don't know, these two areas run from Guadalcanal in the southers Solomons up to the border of Dutch New Guinea, which is about halfway east and west across the island of New Guinea. One of the major things pointed out in the beginning of the book is that the P-38 wasn't really the outstanding aircraft that many of us have believed.

When records on both sides of the conflict are studied, their kill ratio was about 1:1. This was due to some fairly major overclaiming, an issue with both sides throughout the war. Secondly, the aircraft was much more complex than others and so it was more difficult to keep them operational. The thought that a second engine was a benefit, however, having two engines meant that it was easier for the Japanese to knock out one engine, and the P-38 was not an easy plane to fly and even more difficult to land with one engine out. If an engine was lost on take-off it generally meant a crash. Japanese pilots actually preferred fighting the Lightning and found it to be a fairly easy kill. Finally, the benefits of the type was that it did have longer range than other aircraft, especially when fitted with drop tanks. It was also faster than Japanese types, which made it an excellent photo recon plane. Despite the drawbacks, the airplane was potent in the hands of experienced pilots, with several of America's top aces getting most of their accredited victories with the P-38.

The book follows a standard format with each of the various units covered in greater or lesser detail, depending on how long they operated in theater. 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. 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 2023

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