Rise and Defend, the USAF at Manston – 1950-1958
This striking 8x11.5-inch format book has its pages formatted in two columns with a wide shaded gutter. The latter being home for the in-depth captions. The book contains a foreword by Maj. Gen. Hugh B. Mason, USAF (Ret.), 406th FIW commander between 1955-1958, an introduction, seven chapters, an epilogue, thorough aircraft serial number appendix, bibliography and index. There are 204 black and white photos, four illustrations, and a color section with 26 color photographs and 34 color profiles illustrating the various colorful markings carried on the aircraft assigned to Manston. The latter is a modeler’s delight, providing more than ample examples of F-84D/Es, an F-84F, F-86D/Fs, a T-6, a pair of T-33s, two SH-19s, an SA-16, and a C-123.
Separate chapters give coverage to the 20th FBG, 31st FEW, 12th FEW, 123rd FBW, 406th FBW/FIW, and the air rescue units assigned to the base. The author tapped a number of official sites and a plethora of veterans to obtain the data for this comprehensive book describing the units, operations, fame, and foibles of those who were there during the beginning of the Cold War. Most of the photography has not been seen in print before.
Not only will this book satisfy modelers with a quest for colorful aircraft, it will provide insight into the actual operations during this tense period of world history. The stories of the pilots and maintainers cover the good and the bad. There are great flights and not so great accidents. In addition, coverage is given to the unit deployments to bases in Libya and Morocco.
As a bonus, the dust jacket has the patches for the 406th FBW and 92nd, 512th, 513th and 514th FBSs. This book is recommended for anyone with a penchant for this period in aviation history in addition to the ardent modeler of the colorful USAF aircraft of the 1950s.