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Aviation Memoirs

Aviation








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On Laughter-Silvered Wings

This is the thoroughly researched account of the life and times of a South African WW2 pilot, the author's father, Ted. It is highly personal, drawing on family history and changing lifestyles as the central figure fights his way through a series of experiences, flying coastal strike missions in the Mediterranean and North Africa, then in the Far East… Read more...

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Alan Bristow: Helicopter Pioneer

Alan Bristow, founder of Bristow Helicopters, died seven days after completing his autobiography. He was a truly remarkable man; his full-page obituary was published in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. As a merchant navy officer cadet during the war Bristow survived two sinkings, played a part in the evacuation of Rangoon and was credited with shooting… Read more...

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Back Bearings

Eric Cropper's RAF career started in 1943 and ended in 1968. It covered a period when the navigation of aircraft changed from astro, dead reckoning and drift bearings all plotted by pencil on charts, to press-button radio and satellite information that can instantly pinpoint a position anywhere on the planet to within 5 metres. The then vital skills… Read more...

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Alone I Fly

After several years at sea, Sgt Bill Bailey arrived in Cairo in 1942 as a new recruit to the RAF, hoping to fulfill his ambition to fly bombers. Within hours of his arrival he is sent on his first bombing mission as second pilot in a 104 Squadron Wellington. The aircraft was hit by enemy gunfire and suffered continual loss of altitude as it struggled… Read more...

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From Dogfight to Diplomacy

MacDonell's service career began in the 1930s. Shortly before the war he became a Squadron Leader and worked at the Air Ministry during the Phoney War. When hostilities commenced he became CO of No 64 Squadron, carrying out convoy support operations and eventually fighting in the Battle of Britain. Awarded a DFC, he was given command of a squadron… Read more...