Randy L Harvey reviews the book, B-36 Peacemaker, In Action, from Squadron/Signal Publications by author David Doyle and illustrators Piotr Forkasiewicz and Don Greer.

HISTORY:

** Squadron Signal Publications continues it's new book releases from the new Georgia Squadron location with this revised and expanded 136 page B-36 Peacemaker in Action.  This book is written by author David Doyle. Illustrations were done by Done Greer and the cover (front and back) artwork is done by Piotr Forkasiewicz. 

In Action® books are books that trace the development of a single type of aircraft, armored vehicle, or ship from prototype to the final production variant. Experimental or "one-off" variants can also be included. The first In Action® book was published in 1971.

** Quoted from the Squadron web site.  


THE BOOK:

Squadron/Signal Publications has released B-36 Peacemaker, In Action as Number 10270 in their In Action series. It’s a 136-page soft cover book, 8 1/4 x 11 inches in size.  Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, detailed captions and more. It has a 2023 copyright, and the ISBN is 978-0-89747-007-0.  

THE CONTENTS:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Military/Combat Photographs
  • Introduction
  • B-36 Development
  • XB-36
  • YB-36
  • XC-99
  • B-36A
  • B-36B
  • B-36D
  • RB-36
  • RB-36E
  • B-36F
  • RB-36F
  • NB-36H
  • RB-36H
  • B-36J
  • B-36G/YB-60
  • B-36 Up Close

THE TEXT:

Author David Doyle provides a well written and informative text which details the origins of the B-36 aircraft, specifications of the various bombers such as specific model numbers, dates and numbers produced, final disposition of some of the aircraft, cruising speed and top speed, payload, weapon types and numbers installed, type of control surface materials, changes to the engines, improved upon bomb-bay doors, specific roles of the aircraft such as that of a bomber and that of a photoreconnaissance aircraft, mechanical improvements, relocations of specific equipment onboard the aircraft such as the bombing/navigation electronic gear, fuel capacity, dates of the last flights taken as well as detailing the longest recorded flight of a B-36 which took place in 1951.  In total there are 12 pages containing text, not full pages but partial pages, detailing the previously mentioned subjects as well as the author’s acknowledgements and military/combat photographs statement on Page 2.  The remainder of the text featured throughout the book is in the form of the well detailed captions accompanying each photograph.  The text in the book is nicely written, well detailed and informative. David Doyle doesn’t use non-essential extra text to help fill the pages.  As I read through the text, I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors.   Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone; however, it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.  

THE PHOTOGRAPHS:

A total of 186 black and white photographs and 75 color photographs, for a total of 261 photographs, are included in this volume.  The photographs range from period to present-day photographs and include wide angle photographs to close-up detailed photographs.  They contain a combination of in-action photographs, photographs which appear to have been removed from motion pictures, to photographs that have been staged for the photographer.  There are several subjects of the photographs that I found to be interesting such as the interior photographs of the aircraft showing the cockpit and crewmember duty stations and crewmember uniforms, photographs of the experimental tracked landing and nose gear, and photographs of the Fighter Conveyor (FICON) bomb-bay mounted trapeze docking system.  The majority of the photographs are clear and easily viewable; however, a few do have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark, and others appear too light.  This can be typical for military photographs from the discussed period of history and the quality of the photographs is no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book.  Author David Doyle stuck to the title of the book and chose subject specific photographs and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book.  The majority, if not all, of the photographs will prove to be excellent reference material for the scale modeler due to the details they contain.  The military historian, as well as anyone interested in the United States Convair B-36 Peacemaker, will benefit from the excellent photographs.  

THE ILLUSTRATIONS:

There are 6 color illustrations and 6 black and white illustrations included in the volume.  The color illustrations are by illustrators Don Greer and Piotr Forkasiewicz.  The front and back covers of the book contain illustrations that were done by Piotr Forkasiewicz.  The remaining 4 illustrations featured throughout the interior of the book were done by Don Greer.  The illustrations done by Don Greer are left side (port) profile illustrations of various models of the B-36 featuring the placement of the military markings and also various squadron insignia.  The illustrations are all very well done and nicely detailed.

The illustrations done by Piotr Forkasiewicz are of:

  • A Convair B-36 conducting an atmospheric test of a nuclear, or thermonuclear, bomb at high altitude.
  • Two “Peacemakers” shown in flight during a nighttime operation.  One of the aircraft is a B-36D and the other is a RB-36 reconnaissance version.  

The illustrations done by Don Greer are of:

  • Convair B-36D converted from a B-36B-1-CF with the 42nd Bombardment Wing (Heavy) at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, in 1954
  • B-36D-45-CF built as a B-36B-15-CF assigned to the 325th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, in 1955
  • RB-36E-10-CF 44-92020 assigned to the 72nd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) redesignated the 72nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) in October 1955
  • B-36H, 7th BW(H) Carswell AFB

The black and white illustrations are of:

  • Early style bomb-bay doors
  • B-36B Canopy
  • Snap action bomb-bay doors introduced on the B-36D
  • B-36 canopy with blister
  • RB-36 nose radome
  • RB-36 belly radomes

LINE DRAWINGS:

There are a total of 11 line-drawings included in this volume that are of:

  • B-36  Development. 

A total of 11 left and right side-view line-drawings of the following aircraft:

  • XB-36
  • YB-36
  • XC-99 (final)
  • B-36A
  • B-36B
  • B-36C
  • B-36D
  • RB-36D
  • GRB-36F and RF-84K
  • B-36J III
  • YB-60

INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:

There are 3 informational charts included in this volume that provide technical data on the following:

  • Specification of the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major
  • B-36 Comparisons
  • XB-36
  • B-36B
  • B-36D
  • RB-36F
  • B-36J
  • B-36 Serial Numbers

The Captions

The captions are well written and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown.  The captions go into very specific detail as to the specific model of B-36 shown, other types of aircraft shown, the type of engine, landing gear type, explanation of aircraft markings and unit emblems, designation of specific weapons shown, military unit designations, specific individuals names and military rank, dates, locations and other such pertinent information.  As I read through the captions, I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors.  I was impressed by David Doyle’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions that I have seen in other publications that are brief and lacking in detail.   

CONCLUSION:

This is a very nice reference book from Squadron/Signal that contains many excellent subject specific photographs and well written captions and text all detailing the American B-36 Peacemaker.  I have no hesitation in recommending this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library.  

B-36 Peacemaker, In Action

Author: David Doyle

Illustrators: Done Greer and  Piotr Forkasiewicz. 

Extent: 136 page

MSRP: $32.99

Squadron/Signal Price: $26.39

https://squadron.com/

ISBN 978-0-89747-007-0

This book was provided to me by Squadron/Signal Publications.  Please mention that you saw the book reviewed here on the KitMaker Network when you make your purchase.  Thank you.

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