Vought F4U Corsair Vol 2 Book Review
|Date of Review
|Vought F4U Corsair Vol 2
|Tomasz Szlagor, Leszek A. Wieliczko
|112 pages, softbound
The second volume in Kagero's ongoing study of Vought's classic Corsair recaps late-WWII variants, heraldry and service.
Available in North America from Casemate, coverage begins with development of "ultimate" wartime versions – the F4U-4 and Goodyear F2G. The former's Pratt & Whitney R-2800 produced noticeable boosts in top speed, climb rate and service ceiling. Airframe refinements followed. And the type eventually began displacing earlier "-1" variants in operations.
Goodyear pursued more radical revisions. Designed around the powerful 28-cylinder, four-row R-4360, the so-called F2G "Super Corsair" sported a cut-down rear fuselage, bubble-type canopy and modified cockpit. Performance at all altitudes proved even better than the F4U-4's. But appearance of Grumman's superb F8F Bearcat nixed large-scale F2G production.
Text next turns to Corsairs in British Fleet Air Arm and Royal New Zealand Air Force service – the two largest F4U operators after the USA. Unlike the US Navy, the Royal Navy quickly employed Corsairs on carriers. Coverage surveys Commonwealth variants and actions – and includes authoritative camouflage and markings notes with Federal Standard colors and precise dimensions. Want the match for RNZAF "Ocean [Pacific] Blue"? It's here.
A battle history of US Navy and Marine Corps Corsairs follows. Coverage courses chronologically through Pacific Theater actions from the first night-fighter operations in August 1943 through initial raids against Japan in early 1945. The summary includes all operational Corsair variants – and recounts both land- and carrier-based engagements.
After-action reports fuel many individual combat accounts. That story of a fanatical, grenade-laden Japanese straggler hiding in the fuselage of a VMF-216 Corsair nearly gave me whiplash. Was a Nakajima G5N Shinzan "Liz" bomber really among VMF-221's kill tallies? And what – exactly – was that Japanese "'twin-boom, twin-engine P-38 type'" that VMF-123's Maj Everett Alward destroyed?
Photos and color profiles of five representative aircraft augment the account. Excellent 1:48-scale drawings with 1:24-scale armament inserts further enhance the effort. Modelers and Corsair enthusiasts will love this installment.
With thanks to Casemate for the review copy!