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Vought F4U Corsair Vol 2

Vought F4U Corsair Vol 2 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2014 Title Vought F4U Corsair Vol 2
Author Tomasz Szlagor, Leszek A. Wieliczko Publisher Kagero
Published 2014 ISBN 9788364596087
Format 112 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.95


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!