Bomber Aircraft of 305 Squadron Book Review
|Date of Review||October 2014||Title||Bomber Aircraft of 305 Squadron|
|Author||Lechoslaw Musialkowski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||192 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$69.00|
Escaping the tyranny of Nazi occupation, thousands of expatriate airmen fought for the Allies during World War II. And among these were personnel of Royal Air Force 305 Squadron – the fourth and last of Poland's exile bomber units.
Now it's the subject of a superb study from MMP Books.
MMP's fitting tribute – available in North America from Casemate – begins an accolade of its own: "Instead of a dedication". "This book would not have been written," author Lechoslaw Musialkowski notes, "if not for my fascination with the work of Gabriel Milosz."
That's why introductory notes commemorate Milosz, "the photographer, photo lab assistant, and then head of the photographic section in 305 Squadron from its formation until its disbandment" – and person most responsible for the photo content of MMP's lavishly illustrated book.
Contents then course chronologically through operations by aircraft type:
- Fairey Battle
- Wellington IA & IC
- Wellington II
- Wellington IV
- Wellington X
- NA Mitchell MkII
- D.H.98 Mosquito FB.VI
Mission descriptions include, where available, participating personnel, aircraft, codes and serial numbers, and results – including equipment and aircrew losses. Absorbing anecdotes season the account. And statistics summarize combat sorties and hours flown – as well as bomb tonnage dropped on enemy targets.
Coverage sports dozens of hitherto unpublished 305 Squadron aircraft photos with extended captions. Marek Radomski's color profiles are simply superb. And extended, detailed comments and reference shots accompany all artwork.
In the end, of all exiled Allied air forces, only the Poles never "adorned" their British aircraft with "full Polish national markings". "The French, Belgians, Norwegians and Czechs would have the satisfaction of seeing their own national insignia on their aircraft in 1945", Musialkowski notes. But the Polish Air Force, he laments, "despite their great share in the Allied war effort, out of all proportion compared to the others, would not!"
305 Squadron finally disbanded 6 Jan 1947. But its accomplishments live on. And MMP's terrific tome pays apt homage to the Poles who never bore Hitler's yoke.
With thanks to MMP for the review copy.