I’ve been hooked on Steve Ginter’s publications ever since I came upon his first ones which more or less amounted to just decent-size pamphlets in thickness, with no color. Since then, I have managed to glom onto a pretty good collection of his Naval Fighter Series and companion Air Force Legends Series as well.
Each successive Ginter book seems to set the bar a little bit higher, being a little better than the last one. For modelers or historians, they contain a wealth of information, photographs, drawings, specifications, and history. I consider them among the best reference sources in my stash for my facets of the hobby.
This 273-page, most recent release in Ginter’s Naval Fighter Series features one of my favorite airplanes in my favorite branch of the Armed Services. Having been fortunate enough to partake of both of those entities, I was really jonesing for this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. The prequel was Naval Fighters #98, which covered the developmental history of the A-1 along with FASRONs, Training Squadrons, VC Squadrons and such, and #99 continues with active duty U.S. Navy squadrons. There’ll be a sequel to this one, too, and will include USMC squadrons, USAF squadrons, foreign operators, Navy/Marine Reserve Squadrons, etc., and will feature a modelers’ section as well.
The amount of information Ginter amassed for this book staggers the imagination. A history of each Navy Fleet squadron which flew the Spad is listed, a couple of which I never knew existed, along with squadron insignia, personnel, and deployment histories. There’s basically too much to even describe but if you’re a Skyraider nut, buy this book. It’s incredible.
Modelers looking for new A-1 markings may be a little disappointed, as the vast majority have been documented before in aftermarket decals, books, and other photographic references, but the upside is that you’ll find every one of them in this one book.
Thank you, IPMS, for allowing me to review this work, and thank you profusely, Mr. Ginter, for producing it.