Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

I Worked on Spitfires (Hardback)

The Memoirs of a Member of RAF Groundcrew and his Part in the Victory in Europe

Aviation > Aircraft > Spitfires & Hurricanes Aviation > Aviation Biography & Memoirs Aviation > Pilots Aviation > Royal Air Force Aviation > WWII > Battle of Britain Aviation > WWII > Bomber Command Aviation > WWII > Luftwaffe Military > Biographies > Military Biographies Military > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > British History WWII > Biography & Memoirs WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich World History > Europe > France World History > UK & Ireland > England World History > UK & Ireland > Scotland

By Ronald L Chapman
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 26 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399057264
Published: 30th June 2024


£20.00 Introductory Offer

RRP £25.00

You'll be £20.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase I Worked on Spitfires. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

It was the night of 7 September 1940 which changed Ron Chapman’s life. It was the start of Hitler’s Blitz on London. The death and destruction the German bombers wreaked across Islington and the East End so shocked and appalled Ron, that three days later he presented himself to the RAF recruiting office near Euston station. After basic training, and a few days before his twentieth birthday, he received a posting to 485 (New Zealand) Squadron – Ron was at last with an operational Spitfire squadron.

After just three weeks with 485 (NZ) Squadron, he was posted to 341 (Free French) Squadron. Operating as part of the RAF’s 145 Wing in 84 Group, the squadron was led by the renowned Commandant René Mouchotte DFC, while 145 Wing itself was commanded by the Battle of Britain fighter ace Group Captain ‘Sailor’ Malan. There was also 340 Squadron, known as ‘Churchill’s Own’, and Nos. 329 and 345 squadrons.

As a member of 341 Squadron’s groundcrew, Ron Chapman’s memoirs provide a unique insight into the functioning of a fighter unit from the perspective of fitters, riggers, and armourers. But, in addition, his service with the Free French fighter squadrons adds greatly to our knowledge of this important part of the RAF’s history.

As an element of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, 84 Group was continually moved from airfield to airfield across the South Coast. The idea was to get the squadrons accustomed to nomadic conditions. After the D-Day invasion plans were finally unveiled, the squadron’s groundcrew and support staff were eventually trucked to Gosport where they boarded the landing craft that would transport them across the Channel as part of Operation Overlord. They landed at Arromanches-les-Bains in August.

Ron’s story then follows the actions of 145 Wing, as it battled the Luftwaffe across Europe. As the Allied forces moved eastwards, so Ron and the groundcrew moved with them through France, Belgium and finally into Germany. Ron remained with 341 Squadron until the end of the war.

This book is far more than a personal memoir, it is the largely neglected story of the French fighter wing throughout the years when the 2nd Tactical Air Force moved on to the offensive against the Luftwaffe. It will undoubtedly become recognised as an important addition to the history of the RAF.

There are no reviews for this book. Register or Login now and you can be the first to post a review!

About Ronald L Chapman

RONALD L. CHAPMAN was born in Islington in April 1924. He was educated at Barns Park School and Thornhill Road School for Boys and St Thomas’s School for Boys. His first job was as an office boy at a company of watchmakers. Though his brother joined the British Army, Ron was determined to be a member of the RAF, having watched the valiant pilots of Fighter Command defending London. Ron spent five years in the RAF, writing his memoirs in 1986. Ron spent many years working in the furniture industry after the war in commercial roles for various companies. After the passing of his wife in 1976 he focussed on bringing up his two sons. He passed away in November 1996.

Other titles in Air World...