Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A great book on VMF-214
on September 28, 2012
I have always had a great interest in the Black Sheep Squadron and I have read and enjoyed all of Bruce Gamble's books on the subject. I was thrilled to hear that he was going to present a pictorial book on the subject and when I got a copy, I was not disappointed.
I have lots of books on World War II aviation and I have seen a lot of the same photos get used over and over. What is so exciting about this book is that fact that Bruce has been able to source so many previously unseen photos that were taken by members of the Black Sheep themselves while serving in the Solomon Islands, both in their training areas and at their forward bases. He also managed to get quite a few interesting photos of the two combat tours of the Swashbucklers, the previous incarnation of VMF-214. In addition there are really nice selections of photos of the post-Pappy Black Sheep working up to combat readiness in California and their deployment to the USS Franklin. Though the book is mostly focused on World War II, the photos of the Korean War, Vietnam, and present day deployments are much appreciated.
The book is lavishly illustrated with some really nice paintings of both the Black Sheep and Swashbucklers in action. There are also quite a few aircraft profiles that illustrate the various color schemes of the aircraft flown by and against the 214. This book will be a great reference to aviation artists and model builders. The large format of the book allows for nice, big reproductions of the photos, paintings, and aircraft profiles and shows a great amount of detail. Some of these photos were printed in Bruce's previous books, but in this large format, they really come to life. This book has some really nice gems such as the definitive photographic proof that the photo op Corsair that is so often portrayed as Pappy Boyington's plane is in fact named "LucyBelle" not "LuluBelle". There are even photos of other pilots posing in the same plane.
This book is a fitting tribute to all of the men who flew with VMF-214 and a must have for anybody who is interested in the subject.