Author: Phil H. Listemann
This book looks at the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver in French Service. In need of aircraft after WWII, the French Navy received the first 56 of what was to be a force of 110 Helldivers in 1949. Already considered obsolete by the US and not so affectionately nicknamed “Son of Bitch 2nd Class” by US personnel who operated it, the French Navy set about putting it to use in Indo-China.
This book is a brief overview of Helldiver operations by the three Flotille so equipped. Each is presented in a short “newspaper article” style, followed by some very brief coverage of Helldiver use by second-line units. The text section concludes with a listing of aircraft and personnel lost on operations.
There are some nice operational photos within, and two very nice color shots. The profiles are well done, covering twelve examples. All are dark sea blue with white markings and would be quite boring if not for the French roundels and tri-color tail stripes.