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F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 'Frank'

F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 'Frank' Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review June 2016 Title F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 'Frank'
Author Edward M. Young Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2016 ISBN 9781472814609
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $20.00


In this corner, Vought’s legendary F4U Corsair – first American warplane to exceed 400 mph in level flight.

In the other, Nakajima’s nimble Ki-84 “Frank” – most numerous Imperial Japanese Army fighter in the closing months of World War II.

Now historian Edward M. Young recounts their epic match-up in his superb F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 “Frank” – 73rd in Osprey’s enormously entertaining “Duel” series.

Subtitled “Pacific Theater 1945”, it follows the publisher’s familiar format. Young kick-starts contents with introductory notes, a compact chronology and “design and development” remarks.

After recapping the “strategic situation” and “combatants”, coverage hits crescendo with Young’s “combat” chapter. “Statistics and analysis” and “aftermath” sections neatly wrap things up.

In the end, Young concludes, “The Corsair’s higher speed, excellent acceleration and rate of role gave US Navy and US Marine Corps pilots an advantage in combats with the Ki-84, but the lighter weight Hayate’s superior maneuverability and rate of climb, coupled with its heavy armament, made the Nakajima fighter a dangerous opponent in the hands of an experienced pilot.”

Fortunately for the Allies, “experienced” Japanese aircrew proved rare by war’s end.

Photos, tables and extended captions supplement the study. Illustrations for both aircraft include color 3-views with dimensional, armament and cockpit details. Two biographies add human faces to Osprey’s little opus.

I thoroughly enjoyed F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 “Frank”.  Admirably indexed, this excellent effort deserves a place in every WWII aviation enthusiast’s library.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!