A Battle of Britain Spitfire Squadron (Hardback)
The Men and Machines of 152 Squadron in the Summer of 1940
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Formed at Rochford on 1 October 1918, just weeks before the Armistice that ended the First World War, 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron was originally a night fighter unit equipped with the Sopwith Camel. Its existence was short-lived, for the squadron was disbanded on 30 June 1919.
With war clouds looming over Europe once more, 152 Squadron reformed at Arklington on 1 October 1939, becoming operational just over four weeks later. In January 1940, conversion to Spitfires began and after a period of defensive patrols in the North East, the squadron moved to Warmwell in Dorset to help defend southern England against attacks from the Luftwaffe forces now based in northern France.
Throughout the Battle of Britain, the men and machines of 152 Squadron, call sign Maida, defended the Warmwell sector, which included the vital Royal Navy base at Portland, as part of 10 Group. It is the period from 12 July to 28 November 1940 that the author examines in great depth and detail in this definitive account. This, then, is the story of one squadron’s part in the struggle to defend Britain during those dark days in the summer of 1940.
The text is supported by a remarkable collection of 175 photographs. These include formal portraits and a few Cuthbert Orde sketches of individuals, but most are snapshots of very young junior officer and sergeant pilots. In the majority of cases they are alone or in small groups, usually wearing a 'Mae West' over a No 1 uniform, often posing with their Spitfires. The quality often reflects the amateur skills of the photographers, of course, but the informal nature is very atmospheric.RAF Historical Society
The overall result, which was clearly a labour of love, is an honourable tribute to one of the RAF's lesser known squadrons within a specific, and very significant, timeframe.
As featured inBattle of Britain Historical Society
Article: 'Keeping pilots’ memory alive' as featured byDorset Echo, 2nd March 2019 - words by Joanna Davis
The author has been able to paint this picture and provide some fresh insight because of a narrower view than many histories that either cover a much longer squadron history than just one Summer, or attempt to cover several Battle of Britain Squadrons and Groups. However, the men and machines that are brought to life are typical of fighter squadrons of the time through the RAF fight for Britain, making this much more than a squadron history. A fascinating story.Firetrench
Read the full review here
As featured 'ON THE SHELF'Wargames Illustrated, September 2017