PSbooklogo-3832This particular book published by Pen & Sword from the UK is all about the non-fighting aircraft of WW2. Written by Don Berliner and titled

Surviving Trainer and Transport Aircraft of the World

it also includes a chapter on gliders (Chapter 5). And sure enough our Waco’s, Horsa’s and Hamilcars are listed. Unfortunately no photos of the latter two, which is a bit disappointing. But let me share my review of the book.

This is actually part three of a 3-volume series on surviving World War 2 aircraft. The reason I like it is that not so many people know about these wonderful aircraft that in many instances were even MORE important to the outcome of the war then all the iconic and better known aircraft such as the Focke Wulfs, Spitfires, Hurricanes and Messerschmitts together!

Let’s face it; without trainer aircraft there would not have been pilots to fly the fighters and bombers….. or not enough aircraft remaining in one piece to fight with. And without transport aircraft those huge armies would have been starved of food and ammo long before they got to end their fights.

Don Berliner’s book covers surviving aircraft like transports, trainers, recce planes, liaison and utility aircraft, gliders, amphibian and even a few early helicopters. And not only from the US. Countries of origin and/or location vary from the US and UK to Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy and many others. Obviously the book is by no means covering ALL types and models, but it does give a very reasonable overview of everything that was used in the above categories.

The order of subjects is by category and within each category by country of origin. Of course the US is best represented since after all they must gave had the largest arsenal and highest volume of production, even before the war started. Since it is relatively cheap to own and fly an aircraft in the US compared to most other countries in the world, it is also the country were most old aircraft could be restored and kept flying…. even today! And yes, us European (vintage) aviation enthusiasts are suitably jealous of that.


Don provides a description of each aircraft, including the history of coming into being. The depth of these descriptions vary. Of some of the aircraft not much is known, or knowledge has been lost over time. Others are well documented. The same is true for the pictures.
A little disappointing is NOT to have a picture with EACH aircraft. I guess it has to do with copyrights, because on today’s all-knowing Internet there certainly are pictures of everything ever produced. I also found it a pity that none of the photos have captions….. as to where and what is portrayed.

A definite bonus is the fact that surviving examples are listed including the location and organization owning them. I already have made some notes of places I MUST go some time in future! Together with the usual specifications list the book provides a very good overview of these type of aircraft and no doubt will also pop up a few aircraft that many of us had not heard of before !

The book comes in oblong format, has many colour photos, albeit a bit small, has 185 pages printed on excellent paper and is now available at GBP 15,99 instead of 19,99. It can even be had for only GBP 13.59 if you sign up to the Platinum Membership of Pen and Sword !

The book is available from the Pen and Sword on-line shop here.

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