Archives

At the Dawn of Airpower, the U.S. Army, 
Navy and Marine Corps’ Approach to the Airplane, 1907-1917
By Laurence M. Burke II 
Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. 2022. 338 pages. Ill
At the Dawn of Airpower, the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps’ Approach to the Airplane, 1907-1917
By By Cmdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) | Oct. 3, 2022
Books about the first decade of aircraft development and use by the U.S. military are few and far between, and several have come from the Naval Institute Press, the publication arm of the venerable U.S. Naval Institute, based in Annapolis, Maryland, which the United States Naval Academy also calls home. This latest book on the subject of early military aviation is a lengthy discussion of how the three main American services first discovered aviation then took their time in indoctrinating their first aviation crews and their aircraft into halting use and understanding. It wasn’t easy. Few major technological advances are. It might be said that even today, a century later, we are still learning how to best design and build and finally use the descendants of these flimsy doped canvas-and-wood flying machines. The author has served as an experienced curator of several aviation museums and departments, including the imposing National Museum of the U.S. Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia, certainly not to be missed by tourists of the Washington, D.C., area and especially Marine Corps veterans of any years’ duration. To an extent, his writing emulates that of an academician, typical of a Ph.D.’s (which he is) doctoral thesis, and it starts out with a lengthy heavy-worded introductory first chapter describing how each service began its particular air department.

When the Shooting Stopped, August 1945 
By Barrett Tillman, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK. 2022. 304 pages. Ill.
When the Shooting Stopped, August 1945
By By Cmdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) | Oct. 3, 2022
So many books and articles and occasional papers have been written about World War II’s different theaters, it might be good to stop and consider if anything at all has been written about when the fighting stopped, when the war was finished and people were allowed to return home from whence they came to fight, or what were they doing when word of the ceasefire finally reached them. Leave it to one of military aviation’s premier authors and historians to step up to take a crack at this unusual bit of reporting.

Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” Units Book Cover illustration
LITERARY REVIEW: 'Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” Units'
By Cmdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) | May 10, 2022
LITERARY REVIEW: 'Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” Units' By Mark Chambers with Tony Holmes. Osprey Publishing, UK. 2021. 96 pages. III.

Chinese Air Power Book Cover
LITERARY REVIEW: 'Chinese Air Power'
By Cmdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) | May 10, 2022
LITERARY REVIEW: Chinese Air Power By Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Komissarov, Crécy Publications, Manchester, England. 2021. 400 pages. Ill.