First Light

First Light

  • Hardback
By (author)

List price: US$25.64

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

An account of "Boy" Wellum, one of the youngest fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain. Enlisting in the RAF weeks before the outbreak of World War II, Geoffrey Wellum found himself fighting the Germans over the English Channel, a Spitfire pilot at just 18 years of age. This memoir follows Geoffrey through early (disastrous) training sessions, his first solo flights, his first battle and a harrowing account of being lost at sea. He describes the unique, exhilarating experience of flying a Spitfire and, also, the terrible toll that it takes on the young mind and body. At the age of 21 he is worn out physically and mentally. His war is at an end.

show more
  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 142 x 216 x 40mm | 580.6g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 16pp illustrations
  • 0670912484
  • 9780670912483

Other books in British & Irish History

Other people who viewed this bought:

Review quote

This may turn out to be the last great undiscovered memoir of the Second World War. Ex-Spitfire pilot Geoffrey Wellum wrote the book with no intention of ever seeing it published. Penguin picked it up, and since its appearance such luminaries as Max Hastings have been full of praise. First Light tells the story of Wellum's time as a pilot during the war. In the Battle of Britain, he and his comrades began to live each day with a fierce intensity. The thrill of flying a Spitfire was coupled with the sheer terror of combat, and when the day was over, the Squadron drank and played as hard as they could. One by one his friends stopped returning home. By the age of 21, Wellum was drained, mentally and physically. A harrowing book, but also a celebration of life.

show more

About Geoffrey Wellum

When he was just 17, Geoffrey Wellum joined the RAF in August 1939 and served with 92 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. In 1942 he went to 65 Squadron at Debden as a Flight Commander & from there to Malta later that year. He led 8 Spitfires off HMS Furious to Luqa during Operation Pedestal. He now lives in Mullion in Cornwall and has three children.

show more