The RAAF Hudson Story (Book Two)

Vincent; self-published South Australia, 2010; hard cover; 21.5 x 28cm; 424 pages; extensive illustrations, ISBN 9780959605235

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The RAAF Hudson Story (Book Two)

Vincent; self-published South Australia, 2010; hard cover; 21.5 x 28cm; 424 pages; extensive illustrations, ISBN 9780959605235

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David Vincent’s RAAF Hudson Story Book 2 is an exceptional book for the serious aviation enthusiasts. The author has carefully explored every possible avenue of research ... most importantly dozens of actual Hudson veterans are listed as sources. Perhaps more than any frontline Australian fighting units the Hudson squadrons of early 1942 were very deficient in record keeping ... quite understandable due to the pressures of war. Some of the records were simply lost to enemy action. More than anyone else Vincent has done wonders in filling these gaps via individual log books and other personal records. This work will stand for many future generations as a true record of those brave aircrews who for many weeks at a time were virtually the sole Allied force in the SWPA taking up the fight to the Japanese.

Both Book 1 and Book 2 are well balanced such that each gives an account of fighting operations as well as secondary roles (e.g. Book 1 includes the Malaya / Singapore / Java campaign). Book 2 opens with an account of Hudson operations over the North Western Area. This centres on Darwin but early on includes bases in the Netherlands East Indies. Thus is a thrilling and detailed account covering these early missions, many fully described for the very first time. This section consists of well over a third of the entire volume. All details are covered including descriptions and photographs of the operating airfields themselves, a subject often overlooked. The second chapter details operations in the North Eastern Area, starting with Rabaul and the early defence of Papua. Battle honours of these Hudson units went on to include such pivotal campaigns such as the Battle of the Coral Sea and Milne Bay. Hudsons were involved in this area until well into 1943. Two final chapters cover “Transports and Air Ambulances” and “Post-War Sales and Civil Usage”.

Eight detailed appendices follow. There are lists of all Hudson aircrew casualties, awards granted to Hudson personnel, airfields named after Hudson flyers, fates of all aircraft, power-plants, POWs, personal aircraft markings and a note on the difficulties of maintaining unit records in wartime.

Overall this is a work of extraordinary quality that will serve as a valuable reference to enthusiasts and historians alike. Of almost identical size and dimensions to Book 1, both sit well together on a bookshelf.


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