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Essex Class Aircraft Carriers, 1943–1991 (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Naval Archives

Naval American History Photographic Books Colour Books Military

By Leo Marriott
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Series: Images of War
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 200+ black-and-white photographs
ISBN: 9781526772145
Published: 15th October 2020


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Essex-class aircraft carriers played an essential role in the victory of the United States over Japan in the Second World War, and Leo Marriott’s photographic history is a fascinating introduction to them. Without these remarkable ships, the island-hopping campaign of American forces across the Pacific towards Japan would not have been possible. They also took part in the Korean and Vietnam wars that followed.

During the Second World War they were at the centre of the powerful task groups that could put up hundreds of aircraft to support forces on the ground. They were also prime targets for Japanese air attacks, in particular the kamikaze suicide missions. A total of twenty-four were eventually commissioned including several after the end of the war.

The selection of rare photographs and the expert text cover the evolution of US aircraft carrier design prior to the Second World War and look at the factors which shaped the design and construction of the Essex class. Included are dramatic action shots of the new breed of naval aircraft that were launched from their flight decks, including Hellcat and Corsair fighters that took on the Japanese and the carrier-borne jets that flew over Korea and Vietnam.

I would heartily recommend this to anybody with an interest in the subject. It would certainly be invaluable to a modeller.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

I think these books [Images of War] are excellent to browse through and learn about the chosen subject.

Review by Andy Thomson

Another book of the series "Images of War" of extreme interest, both for the iconographic aspect and for the purely historical one with the description of the use and in part the history of each of the Essex class aircraft carriers. A book that will surely delight all naval history enthusiasts because it well illustrates the importance that the aircraft carrier (and in this case the Essex Class) had in changing the way warfare is waged at sea.

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On The Old Barbed Wire

An excellent addition to the Images of War series and one that I think can be enjoyed by both aircraft and naval enthusiasts while also being a very useful reference for modellers.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About Leo Marriott

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea, Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Early Jet Bombers 1944-1954 and Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954: The Soviet Union and Europe. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller but still maintains his pilot’s licence. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

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