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Aircraft of the Aces

Legends of the Skies


Compiled by Tony Holmes

with artwork by Iain Wyllie and Mark Postlewaite



S u m m a r y

Publication Details: Aircraft of the Aces - Legends of the Skies
Compiled by Tony Holmes with artwork by Iain Wyllie and Mark Postlewaite
ISBN: 1841768170
Media: Hard cover; 144 pages plus covers
Price: GBP£20.00 or USD$29.95 available online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Great variety of stories and an interesting read; thirty aces covered; beautiful colour artwork; well presented; logically organised
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Osprey's Legends of the Skies is available online from Squadron.com




Now here is something you don't see all that often - a hardback book from the guys at Osprey Publishing. 

Essentially, this book is a compilation of previously published chapters from various different volumes of Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series. 

Following a forward by Generalleutnant Günther Rall, the book comprises thirty three chapters spanning aerial warfare from World War One to the skies over Israel in 1973. 

The chapters and pilots covered are: 

  • 'Naval 1' Ace - Sub Lieutenant Roderick S. Dallas.

·        Last Kill With Jasta 2 – Leutnant Werner Voss. 

·        Nungesser’s Nieuport – Charles Nungesser. 

·        Fighting ‘Cocks’ – Lieutenant Armand de Turenne. 

·        ‘Naval 10’ – Flight Sub Lieuntent Lawrence P. Coombes.

·        Death of the ‘Red Knight’ – Rittmeister Manfred von Richtofen. 

·        First Victory – Leutnant Georg von Hantelmann. 

·        Duel over the Dolomites – Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford. 

  • Fokker Ace – Leutnant Carl Degelow.

·        ‘Balloon-Buster’ – Lieutenant Edgar Taylor. 

·        ‘Shooting Star’ – Captain Jacques Swaab. 

·        Barker’s Battle – Major 'Billy' Barker. 

·        Desert Dogfight – Flying Officer Peter Wykenham. 

·        Flying Tigers – William N. Reed. 

·        Ace in a Day – Flight Lieutenant Clive 'Killer' Caldwell. 

·        Burma Battler – Pilot Officer William J. Storey. 

·        Nip’s Nemesis – Second Lieutenant Donald C. 'Fibber' McGee. 

·        'Italian ‘Thunderbolt’ – Tenete Guilio Renier 

  • Centurion – Oberleutnant Günther Rall.

·        Caucasus Clash – Porucik Vladimir Krisco. 

·        ‘Palm Sunday Massacre’ – Captain Roy E. 'Deke' Whittaker 

·        Defender of Ling-Ling – Captain John F. Hampshire Jr. 

·        Warhawk Ace in a Day – Captain Joseph J. Lesicka. 

·        ARR Ace – Lieutenant Ion Dobran. 

·        ‘Puma’ Pottyondy – Captain László Pottyondy.

  • On My Own Time – Captain Bob DeHaven.

·        Ace of Aces – Hauptmann Erich Hartmann. 

·         ‘White 27’ – Major Ivan Kozhedub. 

·        King of the Strafers – Lieutenant Colonel Elwyn Righetti. 

·        Final Victory – Ljudevit Bencetic.

·        MiG Mauler – Captain James Jabara.

  • Kurnass – Avihu Ben-Nun.
  • Alert Neshers – Ra'anan Yosef.

On average, each chapter comprises three to four pages.  They consist of a short story from the pilot which is illustrated by a magnificent full page painting, relevant photographs, a full colour side profile of their aircraft, a biography of the pilot concerned, and a description of the aircraft that provides both a potted history as well as its specifications. 

As previously stated, the book is hardback and comprises 144 11"x 9½" pages on good quality glossy paper. 

This is not a reference book to provide details to help in detailing your latest masterpiece.  What it is, though, is a good quality product that relates stories from and biographies of thirty aces. 

A good read and thoroughly recommended.


Aircraft of the Aces
Legends of the Skies

Author: Tony Holmes
US Price:
UK Price: £20.00
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 October 22, 2004
Details: 144 pages; ISBN: 1841768251
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Review Copyright © 2005 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 27 April, 2005
Last updated 27 April, 2005

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