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Caribbean Legion and it’s Mercenary Air Forces 1947-1950

Caribbean Legion and it’s Mercenary Air Forces 1947-1950

Dan Hagedorn & Mario Overall
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
The immediate post war years were tempestuous times in the Caribbean with much coming and going of strong men presidents and a keen US interest in those leaning to the left.

The Caribbean legion was a shifting alliance of progressive forces seeking to democratise the region. Not as a Marxist project but more in line with the spirit that inspired resistance against the old Spanish Empire. On the other side were the post war hard men of politics who had achieved power by boisterous methods and often with a passing nod from Uncle Sam.

Throw into this political mix a lot of demobbed competent flyers and an armada of government surplus war planes. Soon to be demobbed quartermaster types abounded. Want a thousand Mauser 98s? Just ask Juan Bosch. Want a LCI? The Maximo Gomez was for hire. The concept of end user certificates had not even been thought about.

As a final playing card the US had favoured client governments in the area with equipment, some aid and a bit of training. Not forgetting US “businessmen” such as Lucky Luciano who were keen to expand their business in the region.

Within this heady mix the post war shuffle begins. The authors have meticulously logged the principal airframes involved and where they finished up. Lockheed Lightnings, Consolidated Liberators, B25 Mitchells, Catalinas and B17s, Beaufighters and Mustangs.

The work looks at who operated them and in many cases where they came from.

The book runs to 165 pages plus a good workable index and a list of abbreviations. It is aimed squarely at the serious aviation and military readership and is of sufficient detail to be a useful aide memoire for reference and further writings. Illustrations are useful but sadly on matt paper. Price £12.95 Kindle £4.99

The authors have added useful information to the subject. Hagerdorn has serious museum credentials and Overall has a fascinating history in the region.

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