Avonmore Books | Pacific Profiles: Volume Twelve

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: Avonmore Books
Author: Michael John Claringbould
Publishing Date: 2023
ISBN: 978-0-645-70044-2 (Softcover)
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 shown to be a proven success, this volume just adds to the overall wealth of data that proceeded it in the previous 11 volumes.

This particular book (Volume twelve in this rather spiffy ongoing series), depicts yet another of the more rather well known USAAF Pacific combatant aircraft, specifically the truly iconic North American P-51 Mustang, 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. Covering the P-51 and F-6 Mustang types which served in New Guinea, the Philippines and then the Japanese islands, utilized by a total of ten USAAF Fifth Air Force fighter and reconnaissance squadrons. Concentrating on the New Guinea & Philippine theaters (1944-45), this book takes an in-depth look at these warhorse aircraft. The P-51, a marvelous fighter aircraft design, served with great distinction through most of the war, and most certainly played an important part in the overall allied effort.

Much in the way of primary reference material is listed here, including squadron records, color slides and movies, maintenance logs, diaries, wreck site inspections and factory specifications. P-51s represented in this volume represent a broad swath of squadrons, so quite good coverage.

P-51s, 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 not at all limited in this area, there being a fair few 1:32 kits of P-51's readily available, with the Tamiya & Z-M examples probably being the best of the lot, though the newer Revell kits are also quite worthwhile, especially for those on a budget.

This work, being dedicated once again to the South & Southwest Pacific (1944-1945 time-frame) arena, offers up some worthwhile coverage of quite a number of Mustangs 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

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 workhorse that was the North American P-51 specifically, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Sunday, March 03 2024; Last modified on Thursday, May 09 2024