Combat Carriers, USN Air and Sea Operations from 1941

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Martin W. Bowman
Other Publication Information
Paperback, 256 pages, 200 B&W photographs, 60 color plates, 9.6 x 6.7 x 0.9 inches
Company: Amberley Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Amberley Publishing - Website: Visit Site

Thank you to Amberley Publishing and the hardworking duo of John Noack and Dave Morrisette for providing this book to enjoy and review!

Martin Bowman has earned an excellent reputation as an aviation historian. Combat Carriers continues this legacy with a wonderful series of chapters detailing important events related to carrier aviation since the start of World War II.

The table of contents is paraphrased below:

  • Introduction
  • Pearl Harbor and the US Pacific Fleet
  • The Battle of Midway
  • Malta Convoys and Torch
  • The Marianas “Turkey Shoot”
  • Hellcat Dawn Patrol
  • Carrier Landings – Day and Night
  • The Battle of Kagoshima Bay
  • “The Sweetheart of Okinawa”
  • Task Force 77
  • Further Tales from the Bird Barge
  • Air War Vietnam
  • Storm Clouds
  • End notes

The focus of the book is indeed on development of carrier tactics, as the title suggests. However, do not expect to find long listing of facts, details and research material about the components of USN carrier warfare. True, there is much of that information contained throughout, but the real delight of the book is in the relation of personal accounts and actions by all involved. There are three theaters of action represented, with a brief section describing modern post-Vietnam events. The text is well referenced and cited, with the end notes containing additional information. I have not seen many of the photographs before.

From the model builder’s perspective, if you ever find yourself wondering about the view from the bridge, deck, cockpit or any other part of the subjects you are modeling, this book will certainly add to the depth of the hobby. At the very least, the book is a wonderful read, well-told and engaging, in the same genre as Samuel Eliot Morison. I found the personal narratives fascinating, and I ended the book with an even greater respect for the USN community.

Thank you again to Amberley Publishing, John Noack and Dave Morrisette. I truly enjoyed the chance to sit back and read through Martin Bowman’s recent contribution to USN history.


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