Squadron Signal Publications
US Light Carriers in Action
Warship #16

By Michael Smith
color by Don Greer, illustrated by Richard Hudson.
Squadron Signal publications has come through with another of their In Action series for the modeler. This one covers the Independence and Saipan Class Light Carriers. When the US entered World War Two, it found itself woefully short of carriers to fend off the Japanese carriers that had devastated the fleet at Pearl Harbor. To help fill the void a plan was devised to use the Cleveland class hull as the basis for a medium sized carrier. Although they were not as versatile as the larger Essex class this carrier design proved to be fairly successful and helped bring the fight to the Japanese all across the Pacific. 
As with their other book, this one begins with and overview of carrier design and development. A history of the Independence class is told in word and pictures showing the Independence from her building to her final configuration. Design changes are noted in the class as well. There is even coverage of the scrapping of the Cabot and what remains of her.
There are a number of close up photo's that show some important parts of the ship. Photo's such as the island shot will prove to be quite valuable to the modeler. There are plenty of illustrations showing the typical weapons and fittings on the ship. There are a number of line drawings showing the carriers in comparison with other carriers and ships.
My favorite feature is the centerfold with the color drawings of the carriers in plan and elevation. Don Greer has done a nice job in showing the ships in their camouflage colors.

There is also photo's and text on the lesser known Saipan Class CVL's that were built on the Baltimore class heavy cruiser.

There are over 80 photos and about 20 illustrations in this 49 page 8-1/4" x 11" soft cover book. With a retail price of $9.95 it is a great value for the modeler. Now that we have a reference it would be nice if someone would reissue the Independence class carrier! You can find the Squadron Signal "In Action" books in any well stocked hobby shop or direct from Squadron Mail Order.
Special thanks to Squadron Mail Order for providing the sample for review. Don't forget to check out the new look of their website, with online search and a shopping cart for your convenience.

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