With its vast text and more than 2000 photos, Canada's Air Force At War And Peace is the grandest of all publications dealing with the Royal Canadian Air Force, its prececessors and successors. This 3-volume series is something that no air force veteran will want to miss. CAFWP begins with the major role played during WWI by Canadians in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. The chapter covers many exploits — fighters and bombers over the trenches, patrolling in flying boats, instructing in the RFC (Canada) training scheme, etc. The airplanes are familiar — Camel, D.H.4, JN-4. Many of the aviators, however, are not — the focus is on Canadians who fles heroically, but not in the limelight.
Chapter 2 describes the interwar years, with Canada struggling with defence policy. What role might airplanes play in a vast, young nation? HS-2Ls, Vedettes, Fairchilds, Siskins and Wapitis are some of the aircraft covered. For the frist decade the flying is mainly civil, aerial surveying, and forestry and fishing patrols being routine activities. There are financial hard times, and it is the early 1930s before the RCAF's first fighting units appear.
While its only modern aircraft by 1939 are a handful of Hurricanes, the RCAF quickly adapts when war erupts. This era is detailed in Volumes 1 and 2. The vital work performed by Canadians in training, fighter, bomber, coastal and transport units is covered. The RCAF blossoms into the world's fourth largest air force, its achievements become legend. Each chapter has an exhaustive text, enriched by the grandest selection of photos ever seen an RCAF publication. Hundreds of serving members are noted, as are all the aircraft, from Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang and Thunderbolt, to Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster, Sunderland, Dakota and all the rest.
Volume 3 studies the postwar era — the doldrums, then the Cold War build-up. Canada supports UN efforts in Korea, then NATO. This section takes you from Vampire, Sabre and CF-100, to Arrow, Voodoo and CF-104, to CF-18. Transport ranges from Norseman, Expeditor, Dakota, Box Car and North Star, to Chinook, Hercules and Airbus. Operations range from the Arctic to strife-ridden Africa, the Gulf War and NATO's action against Serbia. Maritime aviation covers anti-submarine, fisheries and sovereignty patrols. Other key topics are search and rescue, test and development, and flight demonstration with the Golden Hawks and Snowbirds. If you have the slightest yen for air force history, this spectacular series is for you!Canada's Air Force At War and Peace, Volume 2 Canada's Air Force At War and Peace, Volume 3