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S2C Helldiver

S2C Helldiver Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2020 Title S2C Helldiver
Author Luigi Gorena Publisher Aviation Collectables
Published 2015 ISBN 9788894105018
Format 56 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.95


S2C Helldiver – available for the first time in North America from Casemate – charts the intriguing saga of Curtiss Helldivers in post-WWII Italian service.

Spanning just 56 picture-packed pages, Luigi Gorena’s compact, Italian-English chronicle recaps the “Beast” in both air force and navy use.

Contents cover Helldiver acquisitions, operations, and fates. And photos, color profiles, unit badges, tech-manual excerpts, and even period advertising

Some typos haunt this interesting effort. The translation occasionally sounds strange. And the combination can produce some eye-popping text.

Outside Italy – and this monograph – postwar Curtiss Helldivers saw action during the civil war in Greece and with French forces in Indochina. But as reported in Helion’s The Trieste Crisis 1953, Italy and Yugoslavia also nearly came to blows over that disputed city. Had fighting occurred, it might have produced history’s first – and only – clashes between Curtiss SB2C Helldivers and Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmoviks!

Now what about the title’s curiously truncated “S2C” designation? Page 13 clarifies, albeit awkwardly, the conundrum:

[T]he Treaty of Peace [with Allied powers after WWII] … denied Italy the construction and use of bomber aircraft, the original designation SB (Scout-Bomber, Bomber-Reconnaissance) was reduced to the only “S” (and then S2C-5 “Helldiver” and not SB2C-5 as reported in some national publications).

And there you have it. Helldiver enthusiasts: Get the rest of the story in S2C Helldiver!

With thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy!