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Northrop’s Night Hunter P-61 Black Widow
by Jeff Kolln
Publisher: Specialty Press
Address:

39966 Grand Ave., North Branch, MN 55056

Web Site: www.specialtypress.com
Price:
 $39.95
Copyright:
 2008
Binding:  Hardcover Height:

 10.00

Width:

 10.00

Pages:  198 No. Photos:
 430 B&W and Color
ISBN:
978-1-58007-1

Jeff Kolln’s book is one of a kind. While there are other books available on the P-61, each providing an interesting insight into the history of this purpose-built night fighter, Kolln has taken it one step further by putting together the complete story of the Black Widow.

For example it was my understanding that one of the surviving four P-61s that is located at the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in Beijing, China was a “C” model. This seemed inconsistent with the fact that delivery of the “C” model didn’t start until July 1945. Kolln has the answer – the P-61 in China is actually a P-61B (42-39715) and was delivered to the 427th NFS in March 1945. He also briefly explains how it ended up in the hands of the current Chinese government.

Do you know how the F-15 Reporter related to the P-61? Did you know that the P-61 was also used by the Navy and Marine Corps? Do you have any idea how the P-61 was used after World War II? And most unusual of all, what happened to Serial Number so-and-so? Yes, Kolln listed every P-61 and F-15 produced, and summarized what is known of its history in a brief paragraph.

Kolln’s book covers the history of the Black Widow and the Reporter from conception to the four remaining P-61s still in existence. If you’re looking for a comprehensive reference source for the Northrop night fighter, then this is a must-have book. It is well worth the $39.95 retail price.

Larry Bledsoe

 

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