Avonmore Books | Pacific Profiles: Volume Thirteen

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: Avonmore Books
Author: Michael John Claringbould
Publishing Date: 2024
ISBN: 978-0-645-70046-6 (Softcover)
Pages: 132

This particular book (Volume thirteen in this fascinating ongoing series), depicts yet more of the interesting Japanese well known Japanese pacific combat aircraft types, specifically bombers, flying boats, transports and a spattering of some miscellaneous types, and it’s chock full of representative material; plenty of ground shots, variations in painting schemes, showing the incredible wear on the finishes of these Pacific birds, as well as (naturally enough) plenty of color profile drawings. Covering Japanese aircraft types which served in the South Pacific campaigns in general (1942-44), this book takes an in-depth look at these warhorse aircraft.

Japanese aircraft types, being stalwart subjects amongst modelers, are well represented here and I'm particularly pleased with the real "at work" type of photos presented, both black & white, as well as a spattering of color shots, again, many of which capture the spirit of the surface battering that these aircraft were subject to. Large scale modelers are somewhat restricted in this regard as the only 1:32 aircraft that I'm aware exists of the types depicted currently, is the Val dive-bomber.

This work, being dedicated once again to the South Pacific (1942-1944 time-frame) arena, offers up some worthwhile coverage of quite a number of Japanese aircraft in that theater; a great wealth of information to add for those that seek information regarding these types of aircraft working from those environments. Color profiles are presented in great abundance, 116 to be exact, so plenty of options to choose from here.

This volume depicts the markings of two dozen mainstream air groups (kokutai), many of which have never been covered before, at least not to this degree. Aircraft types include the Betty, Nell, Val, Judy, Emily, Mavis, Irving, Claude and Babs. Floatplanes and Zeros, are covered separately in other volumes of this ongoing series.

Profiles are backed up by photos and/or documentation, along with brief histories of each aircraft when known. A brief history of each unit accompanies the text.

The author (Caringbould) is by now well known for his knowledge of the Pacific air war, and this volume illustrates that point rather well.

Typical Photo/Illustration Quality to be Found Throughout

To me, the high point of this volume, is the overall appeal of the subject matter, combined with numerous interesting facts about the campaigns in the Pacific, all packaged in a smooth, attractive presentation.

I'll have to say that, to me, this book is very good value, given the overall intensity and quality of the content.

Even if one has just a passing interest in the Pacific air war, you can’t go wrong with the purchase of this book and you may well become a fan, as I most certainly am.

(Not a selling point, as such, but the cover has a nice tactile "feel" to it, reflecting, in my opinion, a dedication to overall quality of presentation that I very much like.)

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it.

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Many thanks to Casemate, it's truly an outstanding reference book for the Pacific theater of war in general, and the wonderfully interesting and truly iconic workhorse Japanese aircraft specifically, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Monday, May 20 2024; Last modified on Saturday, May 25 2024