If you have the slightest yen for aviation history, this spectacular 4-volume series is for you! With its vast text and more than 3000 photos, Canada's Air Force At War and Peace is the grandest of all publications dealing with the Royal Canadian Air Force, its predecessors and successors. Volume 1 begins with the role played during WWI by Canadians in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. Many exploits are covered – combat over the trenches, patrolling in flying boats, training in Canada, etc. The airplanes are familiar – Camel, D.H.4, JN-4. Many of the aviators, however, are not – the focus is on Canadians who flew heroically, but not always in the limelight. Volume 1 moves to the interwar years, with Ottawa struggling with policy. What role might airplanes play in a vast, young nation? The RCAF comes into being in 1924 but, for the first decade, mainly does civil flying – aerial surveying, forestry and fishing patrols, etc. 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 few 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 fourth largest Allied air force, and its achievements are legend. Each wartime chapter has an exhaustive text, enriched by the grandest selection of photos ever seen in an RCAF publication. Hundreds of serving members are noted, as are aircraft from Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang and Thunderbolt, to Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster, Sunderland, Dakota and all the rest.
Volumes 3 and 4 cover the post-WWII and modern eras. Volume 3 opens with the doldrums, when most squadrons and aircraft were disposed of, then moves to the Cold War build-up. Canada supports UN efforts in Korea, then NATO and NORAD. As to fighters, this takes the reader from Mustang, Vampire, Sabre and the CF100, to Arrow, Voodoo and Bomarc in Volume 3; CF-104, CF-5 and CF-18 in Volume 4. Transports range from Norseman, Expeditor, Dakota, Box Car, North Star and Yukon, to 707, Hercules, Chinook and Airbus. Operations go from the Arctic to strife-ridden Africa, the Gulf War and NATO action in the Balkans. Maritime aviation covers anti-submarine, fisheries and sovereignty patrols from Lancaster to Neptune, Argus to Aurora. Other key topics are search and rescue, test and development, and flight demonstration with the Golden Hawks and Snowbirds. With all this, it's little wonder that Flypast, the world's most popular aviation magazine, chose CAFWP, Volume 1 as one of the world's three best aviation books for Y2K! No air force veteran or fan of general Canadiana will want to miss Canada's Air Force at War and Peace.Canada's Air Force At War and Peace, Volume 1 Canada's Air Force At War and Peace, Volume 2