There have been several books published about the wartime experiences of individual air gunners but there is no general history of Air Gunners, their equipment, training or service in the various RAF Commands in which they served. This book explains in great detail how and why the trade of air gunner was developed at the outset of World War II. Chapters include the history of the guns and turrets, the famous gunners, outstanding bravery during major raids, flying with Coastal Command, Bomber Command and overseas operations. It also includes the history of Air Gunners who became prisoners of war, outstanding bravery awards and American air gunners such as Clark Gable, John Huston and Charlton Heston. It includes many first-hand accounts of wartime combat as seen from the gun turret in the heat of battle. Air Gunners, 'tail-end Charleys' in particular, have always been popular wartime heroes as they flew in their isolated positions protecting their aircraft from enemy fighter attack in the skies over war torn Europe.