One of 'The Few' (Hardback)
The Memoirs of Wing Commander Ted 'Shippy' Shipman AFC
Ted 'Shippy' Shipman was one of 'The Few' who flew with 41 Squadron in the Battle of Britain. He left his father's farm in 1930 and enlisted in the RAF as a driver ACII. He flew for thirteen years of his thirty years service, achieved the highest grade of flying instructor and retired as a Wing Commander. This book is based on the copious notes that 'Shippy' wrote in the 1970s and brings a first-hand insight into the life of an RAF Spitfire pilot during the early war years and then his remaining wartime and post-war service until 1959. His career as a senior instructor included No 8 Service Flying Training School, Montrose and the Central Flying School at Upavon. He then went on to teach at the Flying Instructors School at Hullavington in 1942 and the Rhodesian Air Training Group between 1943 and 1945.
After the war he did tours in Germany and Cyprus. He was Commanding Officer at RAF Sopley, Hampshire and RAF Boulmer in Northumberland until his retirement in 1959.
During retirement he actively supported the Air Training Corps, Battle of Britain Fighter Association and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
There are many books that outline the great work that was done by the pilots of this country but not many that offer such an honest and realistic insight in to what life was like in and out of the plane, including the training, the 'practice runs' and scouting flights but also the post-war work that was then carried out. Not only does this read give you the opportunity to educationally understand what happened over those years but also about what life was like from a personal perspective, with the use of personal information and photographs, this part of Ted 'Shippy' Shipman's life is fantastically written about by the author, John Shipman. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to gain information of this period in time but also for those wishing to gain a more personal reflective perspective, it offers a gripping and truly unique and fascinating insight into the work that was carried out.Amazon Reviewer
The story of Ted Shipman, One of 'The Few', provides a most interesting insight into the life of an airman during that most critical period of our island's history - The Battle of Britain. There are many books that tell of the daring deeds of those that took part in the battle, however, this work gives a much more softer and balanced account of that time, an ordinary view of extraordinary events. This book serves as a useful source to scholars of the war of 1939-45, but it is also both a fascintaing read and account of the activities of a Spitfire pilot. The book contains many unique photographs, many from Mr. Shipman's personal collection. The author, John Shipman, is to be commended on bringing this work to a wider audience - a good read.Customer Review
'Ben' Bennions enlisted in the pre-war RAF in 1929, serving first as an 'erk' before being selected for pilot training. His first posting saw him serving in the Middle- East with 41 Squadron, returning to the UK and Catterick, where the squadron was still stationed at the declaration of war. Patrols and scrambles were common throughout the early months of the conflict, but it was in May 1940, that 41 Squadron first saw the enemy in any number, providing air cover for the retreating BEF. Bennions recorded his first combat victory on 28 July – he was to damage or destroy 20 plus enemy aircraft…By Nick Thomas
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