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Coming Down in the Drink (Hardback)

The Survival of Bomber 'Goldfish', John Brennan DFC

WWII Aviation World War Two Aviation Aviation Memoirs

By Sean Feast
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 190
ISBN: 9781473891531
Published: 20th March 2017

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Radio Interview

Author interview with presenter Nick Coffer on BBC Three Countries Radio (31/05/17)

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Coming Down in the Drink is the story of Flight Lieutenant John Brennan DFC.
John is an Irishman who need not have fought in the war at all. A sense of adventure took him to London where he trained as a chef before joining the RAF and qualifying as a wireless operator/air gunner.

Posted to 148 Squadron in the Middle East in 1941, John was soon in the fray as the front gunner of a Wellington, flying daily sorties to Benghazi in what was known as the mail run, bombing enemy ships that were offloading vital supplies to Rommel and the Afrika Korps. As much at risk from faulty engines as enemy action, John completed a tour of almost 300 hours of operational flying, including an operation in March 1942 in which his Wellington suffered an engine failure and came down in the sea. He thus became a member of the Goldfish Club.

Posted home and commissioned, he spent time instructing in Scotland, surviving yet another accident in which his pilot crashed into a mountainside. Volunteering for a second tour, John joined 78 Squadron in the summer of 1944, being crewed with one of the flight commanders. He completed his tour, this time as a wireless operator, in March 1945, by which time they were operating in daylight in support of the Allied advance. He was awarded the DFC.

John is one of the only surviving wartime members of the Goldfish Club, and has a fascinating record of 63 operations that covers both the forgotten bombing war in the Middle East in 1941/42, operating from strips of sand in the barren desert, to a main force heavy bomber squadron in the snow of Yorkshire at the end of the war.

As featured in

Ireland's Military Story, Summer 2017

With the number of WWII veterans rapidly shrinking, this is another very welcome account based on the experiences of one who was there. The author has provided an absorbing story from interviews with John Brennan DFC. Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.

Firetrench

About Sean Feast

Sean Feast is the author/co-author of 15 titles for Grub Street, Fighting High and Woodfield, and has an established pedigree and audience. He has a particular specialism in Bomber Command with books such as Master Bombers, Heroic Endeavour, and A Pathfinder's War. He was one of the main authors to contribute to the official book released in conjunction with the unveiling of the Bomber Command memorial. He is also a regular contributor to various aviation magazines, primarily FlyPast and Aeroplane Monthly, and a volunteer for the International Bomber Command Centre. Professionally, he is a journalist by training, and runs an international PR and Advertising agency with key clients in military and defence.

Perfect Partner

Night Fighter Navigator Beaufighters and Mosquitos in WW2 (Hardback)

Yorkshireman Dennis Gosling joined the RAF on May 24 1940. Having completed his training he was posted to 219 Squadron flying the night-fighter version of the Beaufighter from Tangmere in 1941. As a navigator, he became part of a two-man team that would endure throughout his first operational tour. In those infant day of radar interception he honed his skills in the night skies above southern England and the English Channel but without a firm kill. On 12 February 1942, he and his pilot were instructed to pick up a brand new aircraft and deliver it to North Africa, flying via Gibraltar, a hazardous…

By Dennis Gosling

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