Kagero Publishers continues to expand its Monograph series with a book dedicated to the F-14 in US Navy Service (one of the only two users of the airframe)
The book is divided in the following sections
- Genesis of a thoroughbred
- Production and variants
- VF-154 “Black Knights”
- Pilot and RIO
- VF-32 “Swordsmen”, its last deployment with the Tomcat
- F-14 Main Systems
- Tomcat in Combat
- F-14 Tomcat Retired, Baby!
- F-14 Tomcat in 2002
Each section can be read as a stand-alone mini-monograph on the topic at hand. Each section is well researched, has plenty of information on it and, if relevant quotes from pilots are included.
One thing that got my attention is the overall layout of the sections as they jump back and forth from technical aspects of the airplane to the history of selected squadrons, back to technical aspects of the plane. At least to me, it was a tad-confusing to have the layout done that way.
Sadly, a drawback of the book is the lack of a proofreader. In too many cases a squadron is typed as “squadronron”, whole set of paragraphs that got printed twice and in other cases paragraphs that were printed in the wrong section, like a paragraph talking about the Super Tomcat (F-14D) is in the section of the F-14T -a never built proposed variant of the Tomcat.
On the plus side, the pictures are fantastic, the color profiles are inspiring and if you are willing to deal with some errors (due to not having a proofreader) the overall amount of information and research is fantastic.
Overall, I would only lukewarmly recommend the book to Tomcat fans… with a pinch of salt due to the lack of a proofreader. As said, pictures are great if that is what you are into.
I would like to thank Casemate Publishers, Kagero and IPMS/USA for the review sample.