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Curtiss SB2C in French Service

Curtiss SB2C in French Service Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Title Curtiss SB2C in French Service
Author Phil Listemann Publisher Philedition
Published 2011 ISBN -
Format 24 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 10.75€


Here is the latest installment of the Allied Wings series from RAF-in-Combat, this covering the Curtiss-built SB2C Helldiver in French Navy service. By the end of World War II, the air arm of the French Navy was operating surplus US combat aircraft as the only available aircraft at the time could only come from one of the two other aircraft carrier-equipped nations - the United States and Great Britain. For strike and close air support, the French flew the SBD Dauntless, but as these aircraft were being put into harms way in response to a number of regional conflicts and were getting worn out. By the time of the French Indochina action, the SBDs needed to be replaced and the one logical aircraft that was also readily available was the Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver.

This title looks at the operational record of the 110 SB2C-5 Helldivers delivered into French Navy service.. This title continues the new layout to better present the vast information that has been researched.


The title is nicely illustrated with color profiles of representative aircraft from each squadron, photos of many of the pilots and men assigned to Helldiver squadrons, as well as period photographs of squadron aircraft. The title also includes 12 color profiles representing a cross-section of the colors and markings worn by these aircraft during their service.

The format of this title is very well done and provides the aviation historian and modeler alike with excellent information to answer questions or as a starting point for further research. This title is highly recommended and I certainly hope to see many more in this format in the future!

My sincere thanks to Phil H. Listemann for the review sample.