Squadron’s Aircraft in action series continues with number 195, US Liaison aircraft. Probably not thought of as having any great appeal, especially when compared to the fighter aircraft of the day. Nevertheless the job they carried out was vital, because their more glamorous cousins couldn’t do the job that they were designed for.
The book is in the usual landscape format, with a nice painting of a Piper L-4H-PI, flying over Omaha beach a few days after the Normandy landings. There are also a couple of nice paintings on the back cover. One depicting a Piper J-4A impressed into RAF service and wearing invasion stripes. Apparently 405 Repair and Salvage Unit traded this aircraft to an RAF Flying Officer for a bottle of Scotch Whisky. The other, a Stinson L-5B-ST, operating in support of US forces in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre of operations.
Inside the cover
The five principle types of US liaison aircraft that saw Wartime service are covered in detail within the 49 pages:
Stinson L1 (O-49) Vigilant
Tylorcroft L-2 (O-57) Grasshopper;
Aeronca L-3 (O-58) Grasshopper;
Piper L-4 (O-59) Grasshopper
Stinson L-5 (O-62) Sentinel.
The usual format is followed, with a few introductory paragraphs and lots of interesting period photographs accompanied by informative and interesting captions, for each type. At the beginning of each section there is a non-scaled 3-view drawing with the aircraft specifications. Also within each section are drawings of changes in design and specification, where necessary. The centre pages contain colour profiles of the types covered within the pages. Disappointingly there are few interior pictures and no drawings to give the modeller any insight as to the internal layout of any of the types covered. However the title is “in action” and not “interior” so not too many points deducted for that.
There are some interesting pictures to inspire the diorama builders. For me the most inspiring of all are the pictures of L-4’s on an improvised flight deck made of PSP (Pierced Steel Planking) attached to an LST. I also like the overhead picture of an L-4 on the aircraft elevator of the Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) during Operation Torch (the Allied invasion of North Africa) in 1942. It finally gives me the information I require to build a US carrier Deck.
I must admit, though, to having been inspired to look for models of these aircraft. If there are any out there I just hope that they have reasonable interiors, overall another very good title from Squadron.
Thank you to MMD-Squadron for kindly supplying the review sample.
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