Mosquito Book Review

Mosquito

Author: Mark Nelson

The de Havilland Mosquito was commonly known as the ‘wooden wonder’, but I wouldn’t wonder about this particular book too much or for too long. For the topic, the content and the price, this book is Mosquito nirvana!

This is yet another Midland Publishing effort and along with Classic Publications, they do not fail in their consistency to publish excellent books. The author of this one is Mark Nelson, resident in Sydney, and for this, his first book, he’s won gold!

The book is A4 size, in landscape format unfortunately, hardback with an evocative but simple black and white photograph on the cover. Although there are only ten chapters within the 128 pages, its concise, tightly written text, including the anecdotal additions, is quite informative in both development and operational coverage and supports the 220+ colour and b&w photographs very nicely indeed. Practically all of the photographs are new to publication with a large number from South Australian David Vincent, which makes for an excellent Australian coverage. David Vincent’s contribution includes a very significant number of RAAF Mossie photos which I haven’t seen before! Unfortunately, there’s a couple showing the ultimate end to many of these fine aircraft as they were broken up and/or burnt to ash. Very sad indeed.

The illustrative content alone makes this a worthy addition to any aviation library as it includes stunning modern and contemporary colour shots plus seven colour profiles and nose scrap art as well as the full page devoted to two, four-views – all on glossy stock so excellent reproduction. The inclusion of New Zealand rebuilds and the Point Cook restoration are two more nice additions. It’s a pity that its one blemish is an unfinished sentence on the Argentinean ‘look-alikes’! I’d have liked to have learnt about that aspect just a little bit more!

This is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve yet seen on the Mosquito in general terms. It covers service with the RAF, RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF, USAAF, and SAAF quite well without going too far or too often into considerable depth. It also covers BOAC operations (and these were a brilliant inclusion) and later use by Spartan Air Services Limited in Canada for aerial mapping/survey work, not to mention the Worldwide Airways (Aviation) and Capitol Airways Inc racers. The coverage is quite adequate but if you want more info on specifics, you need to look elsewhere. Did I mention ‘Snappers’, or ‘Redtails’, or “Bluestockings’?

Is this a good book? An unqualified YES! Would I recommend it? Identical response - YES!

It’s available from Hylands Bookshop in Melbourne (03 9654 7448 or www.hylandsbookshop.com.au) for a mere $40!

Many thanks to Ms Orietta Colussi of DLSA Australia for the review copy.

John Baxter