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U.S. Aircraft Carriers 1939–45

U.S. Aircraft Carriers 1939–45 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2021 Title U.S. Aircraft Carriers 1939–45
Author Ingo Bauernfeind Publisher Casemate
Published 2021 ISBN 9781612009346
Format 240 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $49.95


Seeking a great introduction to American flattops during World War II?

Grab this handy hardback in the Casemate Illustrated range.

Over just 240 pithy pages, U.S. Aircraft Carriers 1939–45 surveys the spectrum of wartime vessels and warplanes in four compact chapters:

  • Fleet Carriers
  • Escort Carriers
  • Light Carriers
  • Carrier Aircraft

Broadly coursing chronologically, sections include notes on ship taxonomy, historical settings, international developments, defensive weaponry, vessel construction, warpaint remarks, and more.

Author Ingo Bauernfeind also recaps both Atlantic and Pacific campaigns, actions, and engagements – including participating personalities.

And he brings all into focus with commentary on postwar survivors – conversion proposals, “floating museums”, and underwater wrecks. These remarks consume three more chapters.

Sidebars and tables augment the account. And photos, drawings, archival art, and color aircraft profiles further spice the lavishly illustrated study.

Those convenient, comparative plan views of U.S. fleet, light, and escort categories certainly lent dimensional perspective to text!

A selected bibliography and index complete contents.

But better proof-reading would eliminate table entry mistakes. Uruguay – not Argentina – operated F6F Hellcats. And did Long Island-class escort carriers really embark Douglas TBD Devastators?

Which number did President George H.W. Bush’s TBM Avenger sport – “2” or “3”? And I think the fascinating tale of U.S. Navy Great Lakes training carriers – USS Wolverine (IX-64) and USS Sable (IX-81) – merits more than a couple captions.

These and other nitpicks don’t diminish Casemate’s informative effort. Make this convenient compendium your launchpad for further study of American WWII carriers.


With thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy!