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Curtiss H.12, Datafile 125
by C.A. Owers
Publisher: Albatross Productions, Ltd

, Great Britian,

Web Site:
Binding:  Paperback Height:




Pages:   No. Photos:

The description of the book’s cover image states, “‘Old eighty six-six-six’ – 14 May 1917 and the crew of a Curtiss H.12 from Great Yarmouth encounter German Naval Zeppelin L22 some 18 miles NNW of Texel Island. Moments later the blazing airship plunges into the sea as incendiary bullets from the flying boat’s bow gunner find their mark.”

This is an apt introduction to this book about the use of Curtiss H.12 flying boats off the coast of Great Britain to thwart German attacks by Zeppelins, submarines, and even Gotha bombers. When one thinks of WWI aerial combat it is often about the Red Baron, Eddie Rickenbacker, and their fellow band of pilots dueling in the skies over Europe. This book broadens our knowledge to include the little known aerial combat that took place along the coasts of England. Along the way, author C.A. Owens gives the reader a detailed history of the H.12 flying boat – its lineage, its development, and construction. The book is filled with rare historical photos with additional information about the aircraft’s history, which included use by the U.S. Navy. Even though the publisher includes stern warnings about copyright infringements, it includes 1:48 and 1:72 scale drawings of the H.12 for the modeler. A surprising amount of information is crammed in its 34 pages.

As the subtitle indicates, Windsock Datafile 125 is part of the publisher’s series of books about aircraft, Zeppelins, and anything that flies. It also recommends other books in the series that provide a more complete picture of this little known aerial battlefield. If you’re looking for something different than the usual stories about aerial combat in the “war to end all wars,” then you will find this an interesting place to start. One question that lingers in my mind – is the Curtiss H.12 the only American-manufactured aircraft to see combat in WWI?

Larry Bledsoe


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