Of the many human characteristics, few evoke greater admiration and respect than gallantry in the service of one's country. Here, Graham Pitchfork describes the outstanding bravery of twenty-one air men who served in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War. These accounts encompass most theaters of operation as well as a host of aircraft types and aircrew categories. Accounts of the gallantry of those who served on the ground in support of flying operations are also relayed in this substantial anthology. The book explores the gallantry of airmen who fought in a variety of contexts, including that band of men who are so often forgotten, the Burma veterans. A gallant RAF sergeant and an RAF doctor who cared for and inspired fellow prisoners in Japanese camps are both included here, as are stories relating the extreme bravery of a Fleet Air Arm pilot, a Pathfinder pilot and a Typhoon wing leader. The valorous acts of these airmen serve as inspirational examples to a new generation of flying men and women.Graham Pitchfork extracts the drama and poignancy of their tales, enlivening them to great effect in this riveting publication that is sure to appeal broadly to enthusiasts of the era.
Graham Pitchfork spent thirty-six years in the RAF as a navigator and commanded a Buccaneer squadron, was Director of Air Warfare and, before retiring in 1995 as an air commodore, was a Director of Military Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence. He is an established air historian and has written ten books including The Buccaneers, Shot Down and on the Run and The Royal Air Force Day by Day. He is a regular contributor to Flypast and is the aviation obituarist for the Daily Telegraph. In 2012 he received the Guild of Air Pilot's and Navigators Award for Aviation Journalism and the Air Power Association awarded him the prestigious C.P. Robertson Trophy for the best written interpretation of the Royal Air Force for the public.