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Israeli Air Force de Havilland Mosquito 

The “Wooden Wonder” in Heyl Ha’Avir Service Part-1 1948-1953


by Shlomo Aloni 





S u m m a r y

Title: ADPS 005 - Israeli Air Force de Havilland Mosquito 
The “Wooden Wonder” in Heyl Ha’Avir Service Part-1 1948-1953
by Shlomo Aloni 
AirDoc Publications
ISBN: 3-935687-56-7
Media and Contents: Soft cover, A4, 64 pages of text, approximately 140 B&W photos and eight color profiles.
Price:  € 14,95 from [AirDoc] Aircraft Documentations and £9.99 from Hannants.
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: English and German text in parallel columns. Extensive collection of photographs.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

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F i r s t   L o o k


If ever there was a marriage made in hell, it was between the early Israeli Air Force and the de Havilland Mosquito.  As in any relationship gone bad, there was plenty of blame and recrimination. 

On one side there were the accusations of inadequacy; the aircraft suffered from woodworms, structural disintegration and poor reconditioning.  On the other side was blame for lack of understanding; the pilots didn’t know how to handle the aircraft. 

And, not surprisingly, blame may not be equal, as there is often more truth in one side’s story than in the other’s. 

The author begins his monograph with an account of the IDF/AF’s (Israeli Defense Forces / Air Force) early recognition of the need for a long-range attack aircraft, to carry the fight to Israel’s enemies.  The search began for a sizeable, two-seat, multi role combat aircraft.  The de Havilland Mosquito was considered to be the answer. 

Aloni, in the first couple chapters, describes the various means the IDF/AF used to obtain the Mosquitos.  First they were bought from the UK through third part purchases, and later directly from France.  Nearly all the Mosquitos acquired, and put in service with the IDF/AF, were ex-French aircraft that were reconditioned in France and ferried to Israel. 

It seems some of those ferry flights did not go as well as planned.  A bit of an incident occurred when the British mistook the “IAF” painted on the side of the aircraft to mean “Iraqi Air Force”. 

The remainder of the monograph goes on to discuss the training of Israeli crews and the introduction of the Mossie into IDF/AF service.  It is here we see that the marriage was doomed. 

It appears that the IDF/AF wasn’t exactly sure how to treat the aircraft; was it a fighter or bomber.  Then there was the siren’s song of the sexy Spitfire.  Finally, there was the fact that the pilots really did not understand and treat the Mossie well. 

While the relationship between the Mosquito and the IDF/AF lasted nearly ten years, the actual marriage lasted but a mere three.  One could even blame the Gloster Meteor for immediate cause of the breakup. 

As in any good story about a doomed relationship, there is the album of pictures of the participants.  This album has an excellent collection of pictures of the aircraft and the crews.  One will note that the Mosquito was not glamorously attired, basic silver with red or black accents seemed to be the favored style.  Finally a chart listing all those involved.





For the dedicated devotee of the Mosquito, and those who have an interest in the Israeli Air Fore, this monograph comes highly recommended.  For all others, this monograph provides interesting insight into why some marriages between aircraft and air force fail.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to AirDOC Publications for the review sample

AirDOC Publications may be viewed and purchased online from their website

Review Copyright © 2007 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
This Page Created on 25 February, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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