Avonmore Books | Pacific Profiles: Volume Ten

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: Avonmore Books
Author: Michael John Claringbould
Publishing Date: 2023
ISBN: 978-0-645-70040-4
Pages: 108

Now that I have a growing familiarity with the series, they're very well presented, all printed on nice quality gloss stock, with quite a few very nice illustrations of chosen and representative subjects, along with several black & white and occasional color photos as well. Following a format that's already a proven success, this volume just adds to the overall wealth of data that proceeded it in the previous 9 volumes.

This particular book (Volume ten in this ongoing series), depicts another of the more rather well known Pacific combatants, specifically the legendary Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, also frequently referred to as "The Jug", and it’s chock full of representative material; plenty of ground shots, variations in painting schemes, as well as showing the incredible wear on the finishes of these Pacific birds, as well as (naturally enough) plenty of color profile drawings. Concentrating on the New Guinea theater (1943-45), this book takes a rather interesting look at these warhorse aircraft. It's perhaps also worth mentioning, that the Thunderbolt was one of very few radial engined US WWII fighters, built like a tank, possessing massive firepower, and could withstand considerable battle damage, yet still make it home. Republic really built a substantial fighter with this one, for sure.

Thunderbolts, both razorback (my personal preference) and bubble top types, being stalwart subjects amongst modelers, are well represented here and I'm particularly pleased with the real "at work" type of photos presented, both black & white, as well as a spattering of color shots, again, many of which capture the spirit of the surface battering that these aircraft were subject to. Large scale modelers are again somewhat limited in this area, there being only a spattering of 1:32 Jugs, and with the possible exception of the Hasegawa bubble top offering, are all pretty crude by the standards of the present day. Merit (Vintage Fighter Series) also produced the P-47, both bubble top and razorback, in 1:24 scale, and while themselves somewhat rough around the edges, make for a nonetheless impressive display piece.

This work, being dedicated once again to the South Pacific (1943-1945 time-frame) arena, offers up some worthwhile coverage of quite a few Thunderbolts in that theater; a great wealth of information to add for those that seek information regarding these types of aircraft working from those environments.

Typical Photo/Illustration Quality to be Found Throughout

A couple of comments regarding the profile illustrations #67 & 68 (page 84); both appear to be incorrect. Illustration #68, "Miss Mutt III", has Lodi incorrectly spelled as Lodio, and also appears to be too far forward on the fuselage side. Profile #67, "Miss Mutt II", while having Lodi spelled correctly, also seems to have the phrase too far forward on the fuselage, at least based on my own observations.

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. 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.

To me, the high point of this volume, is the overall appeal of the subject matter, combined with numerous interesting facts about the campaigns in the Pacific, all packaged in a smooth, attractive presentation.

I'll have to say that, to me, this book is very good value, given the overall intensity of the content.

Even if you have just a passing interest in the pacific air war, you can’t go wrong with the purchase of this book and you may just become a fan, as I most certainly am.

(Not a selling point, as such, but the cover has a nice tactile "feel" to it, reflecting, in my opinion, a dedication to overall quality of presentation that I very much like.)

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it.

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Many thanks to Casemate, it's truly an outstanding reference book for the Pacific theater of war in general, and the wonderfully interesting and truly iconic bulldog that was the Republic P-47 specifically, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Sunday, February 04 2024; Last modified on Sunday, February 11 2024