Book Review
Chino - Warbird Treasures Past and Present
Review by Scott Germain / Warbird Aero Press

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In a time where book publishers are more concerned with making profits than publishing works that fill niches or cover previously untouched material, it takes somebody like Joe Cupido to set out and make it his business to produce a book about his passion.

Chino - Warbird Treasures Past and Present covers a span of history unlike any other in aviation history. Chino was a southern California airport that served as a pilot training facility during World War II, and after the war, as a storage and reclamation facility for thousands of WWII aircraft. After these aircraft were scrapped and smelted, the airport survived even if our war pieces did not.

How fitting that Chino Airport has become the warbird restoration capitol of the United States. From the young men who trained to fly and fight there, to the stored B-24's and P-47's, Chino covers the history, people, aircraft and tenants that have made this one of the most colorful airports in the world.

Much thought went into the content of the book. Cupido uses archive photos from the '40's to illustrate the aircraft that were stored and scrapped at Chino. The photos show the same buildings that remain today, and allow people familiar with Chino to make a connection to the old days.

As the airport moved from the post-war years towards today, Cupido uses photos and some text to tell the story of Chino Airport and its various tenants. From the Cal-Aero Academy to The Planes of Fame Air Museum, Cupido writes about the people that rebuilt what was left of America's aerial arsenal. Fighter Imports, Unlimited Aircraft Ltd., Sanders Aviation and Pacific Fighters are no longer at Chino - or in existance - their history is recalled by Cupido.

The book also covers the current operations at the airport, including Fighter Rebuilders, Planes of Fame, Aero Trader, Yesterday's Air Force, Yanks Air Museum, Square One, Pioneer Aero and private warbird owners. Although the text doesn't delve into deep details, it does give the reader a good idea on Chino's history.

Air racing fans will find this book extremely interesting, as many unlimited air racers were either built or modified at Chino. Numerous photos from Emil Strasser and Gerald Liang compliment Cupido's photos of the Miss RJ/Roto-Finish/Red Baron, Dago Red, Rare Bear and Sumthin' Else. The captions are text are informative.

The book itself is very nicely done, with high quality paper and printing. The photos, many of them stunning air to air shots, make the book worth the $39+ dollar price. Add to that the text and reproduction quality, and you have a true value. Unfortunately, the book has a high number of names misspelled, and makes one wonder if the material was well researched. Overall, however, if you have been a person that has worked or flown at the Chino Airport and contributed to its history, you will want to own a copy of this book. Even people who have been there once, maybe to visit the Museum, will like to have a copy to learn more about this historic airport and the colorful characters that have made it what it is today.

You can order your own copy of Chino directly from the author. E Mail or go to for more info.


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Review by Scott Germain / Warbird Aero Press. Copyright 2001. All Rights Reserved.