There were many different types of aircraft needed to win World War II. The Grumman Duck was certainly one of them!! Designed and built before the war, these biplanes performed many specialized missions. Rescuing downed aircrew, and spotting for those huge guns on the battleships were only a few of the many jobs it did, and it seemed every squadron had a Duck hanging around as a hack. Unglamorous to a fault, and tough and rugged, the perfect combination!!
This is the latest book by prolific aviation author Steve Ginter. The softbound book is printed on heavy paper, and contains 128 pages of text and photographs. The front and back cover contain the only color plate photos, the rest of the pictures are in black and white. All are very clear and combine to provide a nice photo essay of this aircraft. There are two interesting cut away photos that show the interior framing, complete with crewmen. Many of the remainder depict the Duck in operational poses, such as loading out on a carrier, picking up downed airmen, or just sitting on a ramp somewhere.
The book also contains plenty of information on the aircrafts infrastructure. Details showing the aircrafts rigging, cockpit layout, and float arrangement are all included. These drawings are taken from official military sources, and are very good sources for some of the small details that are part of the airframe. The books text is sparse, and is confined to mostly captions relating to the many pictures; however the book does cover the basic history of the Duck, and is well written.
The book covers all variants of the Duck, including those in Foreign Service, as well as Marine Corps and Coast Guard birds. There’s even a brief page on the Ducks transferred to Air Force service. Small details are also coved in a concise style and focus on the cockpit layout in both photo and diagram format. Other highlighted details are the flare equipment stowage, camera bays, landing gear, floats and rigging. The rigging information is very good, and if used will enhance the appearance of any kit.
The one of the final chapters in the book are a modelers guide to the Duck which outlines the available kits of this aircraft. If you’re looking to build a Duck, but aren’t sure about what kits are out there, this chapter should be your first stop. While there aren’t all that many Duck kits out there, those that are, are detailed here accompanied by photos of the completed kits. The final chapter shows which squadron each Duck was assigned to at different times during the war. It provides a good, easy to read way to track the movement of each bird during its lifetime.
Overall I am very impressed by this book. I have a few other of the authors titles on my bookshelf, and this book certainly is up to his usual very high standards. I highly recommend this book to modelers of naval aviation, WWII, or amphibian persuasion!!
My thanks to Mr. Ginter and IPMS for supplying this review sample. For more information on Mr. Ginter’s books, please visit his website at http://www.ginterbooks.com