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Old 18th June 2012, 21:20
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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"RCAF War Prize Flights, German and Japanese Warbird Survivors", by Harold A. Skaarup

I recently purchased this book, thinking it would give me some information on exactly what the RCAF involvement was with captured German aircraft and, perhaps, adding new information.

The author starts off by focusing on 2 RCAF pilots who, indeed, tested and ferried captured Axis aircraft: Squadron Leaders Joe McCarthy and Ian Sommerville. Skaarup offers up a dense chronological listing of the aircraft they flew, where flown, and their identification(s).

However, the RCAF pilots' involvement lasted a whole 9 pages into the book, at which point the author shifted gears. From pages 10 to 54, Skaarup gives a packed summary of aircraft captured by the Allies, the Germans, and the Russians, coupled with Japanese aircraft captured by the Allies. Where he can, he gives the fate of some of these aircraft in current day museums.

Pages 55 & 56 give a biography of the author.

The book shifts into its final major subject: German, Japanese, and Italian warbird survivors, running from pages 57 to 219. Not everything listed is a survivor, as witness the Messerschmitt P.1101, although it certainly was captured and brought to the U.S.

There is a rather short bibliography. Skaarup has made quite a bit of use of Phil Butler's War Prizes. Skaarup has also made quite heavy use of the Internet, with what appear to be reasonably reliable sources. He specifically acknowledges help from Canadian sources.

The 9 pages involving 2 RCAF pilots involvement seems a tad light to be claimed as major subject matter in the book. The book comes across as very similar in scope to Butler's War Prizes. I haven't tried to cross check to see if it is noteably additive in this regard. Since Butler's book was published in 1994, it is a bit dated. For instance, Skaarup, in discussing in his 2006 book the status of Me 262, W.Nr. 500453, carries the history of this aircraft a bit further, noting that Paul Allen obtained the aircraft from the Planes of Fame museum in Nov. 2000 with the intent of restoring it to flying condition.


Last edited by Richard T. Eger; 19th June 2012 at 00:37.
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