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U.S. Navy PB4Y-1 (B-24) Liberator Squadrons in Great Britain During World War II by Alan C. Carey

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by ColHessler, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Dec 5, 2010
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    Length: 160 pages, including appendices and index

    This book, by Schiffer Books, gives us the history of American naval heavy bombers flying anti-submarine patrols from southwestern England. The squadrons were formed into Fleet Air Wing 7 (FAW-7) in May of 1941, and with America's entry into WWII, its units were sent first to Argentia, Newfoundland. They went from there in May of 1943 to Cornwall, England, at St. Eval and Dunkeswell, and to St. David's, Wales. They were consolidated to Dunkeswell and later to Upottery. They operated under the control of No. 19 Group, RAF Coastal Command.

    We read about these planes and crews and their 10 to 12-hour patrols over the Bay of Biscay, dealing with German fighters out to kill them, as well as the U-boats themselves staying up to shoot at them. There was also the dreary English weather to deal with, which could keep the planes grounded for days at a time.

    There are many great pictures of the men and planes, and good discussion of their armament, such as sonobouys and the Mark-24 Ariel Mine, really an acoustic torpedo. We get interviews with crew members about their experiences, such as ditching their planes, and their interaction with the local children.

    We also get two pages of pictures of Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., (Brother of John, Robert and Ted.) He was part of FAW-7 when he was sent to attack a V-weapons site with a B-24 converted to radio control and packed with explosives. The idea was to take the plane up and level it before hitting the silk, and two Venturas with radio control would take the plane from there, but a malfunction blew the plane up before they could get out.

    We finish with the disposition of the planes assigned to the wing, whether they was lost in action through weather or enemy action, or went home after the war to be scrapped, plus a roll call of honor for the men lost in these planes. There is also a list of the wing and squadron commanders through the course of the war.

    There's a good deal of detail. But the big problem for me was the lack of proofreading. There are several spelling errors, as well as, when they quote someone, they don't start the paragraphs with quotation marks, as my mother, who taught English, reminded me.

    Overall, this would be a good addition to your library for understanding the U. S. Navy's contribution to this part of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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