Air-to-Air Review in New
Zealand Fighter Pilots Association Journal No. 39 September 2004
Reviewed by Bryan Cox - former RNZAF Corsair pilot and
Secretary of the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Association
"Published by Adventure Air in 2003. A hard cover book of 436
pages, it is liberally illustrated with over 230 black and white photos
including every RNZAF fighter pilot who was successful in the Pacific
during the hectic days between 6th May 1943 and 13th February 1944,
during which period RNZAF P-40s shot down 99 Japanese aircraft.
It is the most comprehensive book ever written on this fascinating
subject as it includes biographical information, and personal
post-combat reports by every single pilot involved in that exciting and
crucial campaign. Copies are available direct from the author by
writing to Adventure Air, P.O.Box 240, Lyttelton. Price $84.95
plus $5 P & P.
"The author is a multi-talented aviator who holds current Commercial
Licences for aeroplanes and balloons and has soloed on
helicopters. He soled on gliders before powered aircraft and
currently holds official NZ balloon records for altitude, endurance and
distance, and recently completed his 1000th hour on balloons. In
addition to his aviation interests, Chris has also taken eight trips to
the Antarctic as the DSIR Information Officer.
"When I first picked up his book, first impression was that it would
become very repetitious, so expected to probably rather skim through
it, but once into reading it I found it difficult to put down, and
finished up reading it from cover to cover. On lending it to my
old No. 4 OTU mate Ivan Walker in Tauranga, who served in Nos. 24 and
26 Squadrons on Corsairs, he had exactly the same experience - of
commencing a more cursory approach but soon changing to fully enjoy
every page. For both of us ex-Corsair pilots who trained on P-40s
at Ohakea, we read with great interest the exploits and achievements of
many of our Squadron Commanders at OTU, and a few at ATS Woodbourne on
"To try and compare it with the many epic and classic biographies and
autobiographies already gracing our bookshelves would not be
appropriate, as it fits into a category of its own - in between them
and the uniquely indispensable publications FOR YOUR TOMORROW by Errol
Martyn, and BY SUCH DEEDS by Group Captain Colin Hanson.
"AIR-TO-AIR succeeds in illustrating and revealing that the combat
experiences of our brave young Pacific P-40 pilots equaled or surpassed
those in any other theatre of WW2 - including the Battle of Britain."