Avonmore Books | Solomons Air War: Volume 2

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: Avonmore Books
Author: Michael John Claringbould & Peter Ingman
Publishing Date: 2023
ISBN: 978-0-645-70045-9 (Softcover)
Pages: 192

A new (to me) series from Avonmore, and one that I strongly suspect will be very well received, is this look at the Solomons air war. A nice addition to those with a passion for this theater of operations during WW II. This second volume of the Solomons Air War chronicles aerial warfare in the opening phase of the war in the Solomons Islands theater, being the critical period of October of 1942.

This particular book (Volume Two in the series), depicts some of the more rather well known Pacific combatants, specifically the legendary Grumman F4F Wildcat and A6M Zero, 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 several color profile drawings.

This work, being dedicated once again to the South Pacific (1942 time-frame) arena, and specifically the Solomon islands, offers up some worthwhile coverage of quite a few aircraft in that theater; a great wealth of information to add for those that seek information regarding these types of aircraft working from those environments.

Of particular interest to me, is the coverage of the Battle of Santa Cruz, where the USS Hornet (CV-8), while fighting valiantly, was finally put to rest with American torpedoes (quite a few of them), after sustaining major damage in the battle with Japanese forces. A sad end to a fine ship, and quite a shame after her glorious use in the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, and her significant role in the Battle of Midway.

By now I've learned to truly respect this author, as his research and attention to details and dates, is truly worthwhile.

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 that I have to say makes this book a very good value, given the overall intensity of the content.

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

Well-written, easy to comprehend, and informative. It is an excellent source for the Pacific air war enthusiast.

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, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Tuesday, March 12 2024; Last modified on Saturday, March 16 2024