Born in the North of England, at an early age ERIC RATCLIFFE moved with his parents to Norfolk, where he still resides. His love of flying began in 1975, when, aged 28, he first tasted gliding. Eric continues flying both gliders and powered aircraft to this day. It was his involvement with the Norfolk Gliding Club, and their home airfield at the ex-USAAF base at Tibenham, which aroused his interest in the Second World War, vintage aircraft, and the aircrew who flew them. Retiring from his engineering business seven years ago, Eric found the time to research the Kassel mission, whilst still acting as a tour guide of wartime battlefields and air bases in UK, France, and Germany. Eric also indulges in his loves of fast cars, sailing on the Norfolk Broads, and skiing in the Pyrenees, leaving his long-suffering wife of more than fifty years to look after the house, garden and two cats.