US Naval Aviation 1945-2003

Review by Martin Koenigberg

Just finished my 99th Book Review of the Year!!

I totally loved this book, but not just to be reminded of when F-4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcats bounced off of and onto US Carriers in the later Cold War, a golden age for some. I was even more excited to see the transition from The Hellcats and Corsairs that won WWII, to the awkward early Jet era in the early Cold War. It’s all on parade in this wonderful picture book from Leo Marriott, a historian and photo curator – and former Air Traffic Controller/Pilot. The Decks get angled, the steam catapults get more powerful – and the venerable A-1 Skyraider, the “Spad” of Korea gets replaced by the A-4 Skyhawk and the A-7 Corsair II. The b/w photos come from all over and many of them are new to this audience. I enjoyed both the prose and photo segments, and I think any Aviation buff will see why. This span covers the Cold War, the creation of NATO, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Gulf War II, the Balkan Crisis, and Gulf War III, so there are a lot of shots of fully loaded birds roaming the deck. Equally interesting are the training shots, as the degrees of difficulty added by the environment demands eternal vigilance. A lot of shots of bygone birds some youngsters might never have heard of- as well as venerable Cold Warriors that may still soldier on in other Navies today. The width and breadth of the pics are really fun- and give a really vibrant impression of American Naval Aviation over the years. There are no adult themes, save politics and budgets, and no graphic injury pics, so this is a fine book for the Junior Reader over about 10/11 who likes aviation. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast, a mixed bag. The gamer gets a whole smorgasbord of naval aviation history to pick from- more useful for back up when the era is already chosen than for choosing a struggle to game. The Modeler will enjoy the choices of schemes over the years- but will probably want to tie this to a Colour resource for better guidance. The Military Enthusiast gets to sit back and enjoy the visual feast as it is brought out- especially those interesting transitional birds like the F6F Cougar or the F3H Demon , types that might not be as famous as those I’ve already discussed. I had a lot of fun- and I think enthusiasts and general readers will too. #WhatAreYouReading #BookReviews #20thCenturyHistory #MilitaryHistory #AvGeek #AviationHistory #AmericanHistory #CarrierWarfare #PowerProjection #USN #ColdWarHistory #PostColdWarHistory #KoreanWar #VietnamWar #GulfWarII #Kosovo #GulfWarIII #NavalHistory #NavGeek #WargameResearch #USNavalAviation1945to2003 #RarePhotographsFromNavalArchives #LeoMarriott #ImagesOfWar #PenAndSwordMilitary #VictoryAtSea #BloodRedSkies #TeamYankee #ColdWarWargames #ModernSimulations

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