Spitfire Voices : Life as a Spitfire Pilot in the Words of the Veterans
Spitfire fighter pilots tell their extraordinary stories of combat during the Second World War. SPITFIRE VOICES represents an important oral history of the Spitfire from the pilots' perspective. Drawing upon veterans' personal letters, diaries, contemporary documents and the memories of their families and comrades, this is the deeply moving story of Spitfire pilots who, day after day, were thrown into a maelstrom of life or death aerial combat. Spitfire pilots like Cedric Stone who recalls his first encounter with the Luftwaffe: 'I prepared my sights and set my gun button to fireA". The two specks were aircraft. Me 109s. I prepared for action - I was ready for a fight.'. Maurice Macey of 127 Squadron is more philosophical: 'There is nothing glamorous in being a fighter pilot. There is nothing glamorous in killing and being killed. Exciting, very exciting, sometimes too exciting, but definitely not glamorous, not even in a Spitfire.' The whole range of wartime roles, in all theatres, performed by Spitfire pilots 1939-45 are featured, including air combat, ground attack, deck-landings, crashes and bail-outs, victories and defeats. Illustrated with photographs from the albums of the pilots concerned, Spitfire Voices represents exactly what is was like flying to war in a Spitfire - in the words of those who lived to tell their tales.
- Hardback | 320 pages
- 174 x 248 x 28mm | 961.61g
- 19 Apr 2011
- Amberley Publishing
- Chalford, United Kingdom
- 169 Illustrations, unspecified
About Dilip Sarkar
Fascinated by the Battle of Britain since childhood, Dilip Sarkar remains both moved and inspired by the story of Churchill's fabled Few, those young airmen who stood between freedom and a Britain dominated by Nazi Germany. Since the 1970s he has met and interviewed more Battle of Britain pilots than any other historian. He has researched the subject thoroughly and has published over twenty books, including The Few: The Story of the Battle of Britain in the Words of the Pilots ('A well-researched, detailed chronicle of the Battle of Britain - written by the men who fought so bravely to repulse the German raiders' HUGH SEBAG-MONTEFIORE), Last of the Few: 18 Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots Tell Their Extraordinary Stories ('Dilip knows more about me and the pilots with whom I flew during the Battle of Britain than we do! If anyone ever needs to know anything about the RAF during the summer of 1940, don't ask the Few, ask him!' GEORGE 'GRUMPY' UNWIN, Battle of Britain fighter ace), The Battle of Britain: The Photographic Kaleidoscope ('An excellent book' LADY BADER), Bader's Tangmere Spitfires ('A most diligent and carefully researched account' JOHNNIE JOHNSON, the RAF's top scoring fighter ace in WW2), Fighter Pilot ('This book deserves to achieve success' DAME VERA LYNN). In 2003, Dilip was made an MBE for services to aviation history, and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. He lives in Worcester.
Table of contents
Acknowledgements Introduction Glossary 1. Pilot Officer Laurie Whitbread 2. Pilot Officer Robin Rafter 3. Flying Officer Franek Surma 4. Flying Officer Roger Boulding 5. Sergeant Peter Rose 6. Pilot Officer Vic Lowson 7. Warrant Officer Peter Fox 8. Flight Lieutenant Hugh Chalmers 9. Sergeant Cedric Stone DFM 10. Flight Lieutenant Peter Howard-Williams DFC 11. Wing Commander Douglas Bader DSO DFC & Squadron Leader Buck Casson DFC AFC 12. Flight Lieutenant Bob Poulton DFC 13. Flight Lieutenant Ron Rayner DFC 14. Flight Lieutenant John Slade 15. Flight Lieutenant Rodney Scrase DFC 16. Pilot Officer Geoff Bates 17. Sub-Lieutenant Jack Llewellyn 18. Flight Lieutenant Kazek Budzik 19. Squadron Leader Tommy Drinkwater DFC 20. Sergeant Jack Allen 21. Flight Lieutenant Brian Harris 22. Flight Lieutenant Maurice Macey Bibliography Index