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Born in 1905, Herbert Ernest Bates CBE, better known as H.E. Bates, is best-known for works include that include The Darling Buds of May. During the Second World War he was commissioned into the RAF solely to write short stories. The Air Ministry realised that the populace was less concerned with facts and figures about the war than it was with reading about those who were fighting it and many of Bates’ stories were published in the News Chronicle under the pseudonym of ‘Flying Officer X’. Among a number of other works he was instructed to produce by the Air Ministry were Flying Bombs and Night Fighter. Because of various disagreements within the Government, the publication of Flying Bombs was banned for thirty years, though it was eventually released in 1994. This is the first time that Night Fighter has been published. H.E. Bates passed away in January 1974.

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