Air-to-Air Review in
Air-to-Air. The Story Behind the Air-to-Air Combat Claims of the RNZAF. Chris Rudge.
The writer of the highly regarded 'Missing', a book which explored all cases of aircraft missing in New Zealand since 1928, Chris Rudge has followed with a quite remarkable piece of work. A full appraisal of this book would be difficult within the confines of this column. Chris has set out to achieve the most complete and accurate record ever attempted of RNZAF combat flying in the Pacific Theatre. Providing background to the conflict from Pearl Harbor through to Malaya and Singapore where Kiwi pilots first saw action against the Japanese (with 488 Sqn) Rudge goes on to outline all of the subsequent Pacific Theatre campaigns in which RNZAF combat aircraft took part. In each instance, details of the engagements have been recorded including participating pilots and aircraft, and combat successes and losses. The combat reports from each successful engagement in the words of the pilots involved, provide an excellent record of all the battles and make fascinating reading. Many present New Zealand government officials would be surprised to learn just how involved the Air Force was during the war in the Pacific. Rudge goes on to provide biographies of all the pilots involved in the actions described in the book and numerous appendices furnish valuable data in support of the body of text. Over 400 pages of data are supported by 230 photographs, most not seen before in this 250mm x 180mm hard covered volume. Highly recommended.
Available from Adventure Air, P.O.Box 240, Lyttelton, New Zealand. ISBN 0-473-09724-9. Limited edition of 900 signed and numbered copies. NZ$84.95 + NZ$5.00 P&P. Available direct from author/publisher only.