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Pathfinder Pilot (Hardback)

The Wartime Memoirs of Wing Commander R A Wellington DSO OBE DFC

Aviation Aviation Memoirs Memoirs

By Wg Cdr R A Wellington
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526779700
Published: 17th September 2020

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During the Second World War, 55,573 RAF Bomber Command aircrew were killed, a shocking 44.4% death rate. A further 8,500 were wounded and 9,800 became prisoners of war.

The author of this thrilling memoir defied the odds becoming one of the few Lancaster Captains to survive his quota of sixty bombing missions. ‘Wimpy’ Wellington’s skills must have been exceptional. After serving in 106 Squadron under the legendary Guy Gibson, he and his crew moved to the elite 83 Pathfinder Squadron. As readers will discover, they nightly diced with death surviving enemy fighters, intense flak and mechanical problems.

On completion of flying duties Wellington was sent to the USA and South America to bolster support for the Allied cause.

The prolonged strain of constant mortal danger, night-time sorties to distant targets such as Milan and the steady loss of comrades must have been immense. Yet the tone of this vivid flying memoir remains positive and modestly understated. His numerous decorations and achievements speak volumes and it is a huge privilege to publish Pathfinder Pilot.

An amazing story of an amazing and extraordinarily courageous Lancaster pilot.

Books Monthly

Article 'Pathfinders' flights to glory' as featured by

Daily Express, 31/10/20

About Wg Cdr R A Wellington

R A (Wimpy) Wellington left his farm in Brazil on the outbreak of the Second World War to join the Royal Air Force. After bomber pilot training, he joined 106 Squadron flying Lancasters before moving to 83 Pathfinder Squadron. On completion of his quota of sixty missions he carried out ‘flag flying’ lecture tours in North and South America before becoming Air Attache in wartime Lisbon. All these experiences are well recorded in this memoir.


He received the Distinguished Service Order, Order of the British Empire and Distinguished Flying Cross as well as the Brazilian Order of Rio Branco, a Polish medal awarded by Polish ex-servicemen and became a honorary member of the Polish Combatants Association.


He returned to Brazil in 1946 to farm before joining the Foreign Office. He wrote The Brazilians: How They Live and Work (David and Charles, 1974) and contributed financial articles. He died in 1992.

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