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Tales from the Frontline (ePub)

The Middle East Hunter Squadrons

Aviation Photographic eBooks Colour eBooks

By Ray Deacon
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 20.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 372
ISBN: 9781526721471
eBook Released: 20th February 2020

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Having passed-out from Boy Entrant training in December 1959, Ray spent the following two years servicing Vampire trainers at the Central Flying School (CFS), RAF Little Rissington. In April 1962, Ray left Little Rissington and joined thirty fellow airmen for a voyage out to Aden aboard HMT Nevasa on her last sailing as a troopship. Posted to 8 Squadron at RAF Khormaksar, he spent the next two years living and working in the torrid heat of this desert outpost. It had its compensations, however; not only the opportunity to experience life on a busy frontline operational squadron while working on ground attack and fighter reconnaissance versions of the Hawker Hunter, but also the chance to savour the delights of a trip in Sydney Camm’s most versatile aircraft.

In addition to defending the skies above Aden and its Protectorates, Middle East Command expended a large proportion of its energy supporting army activities in the mountains of the Aden hinterland; dropping supplies, transporting personnel between posts, and in the case of the Hunter squadrons, attacking dissident targets and patrolling the border with Yemen.

It was against this background that Ray wrote his first book on RAF Middle East Command operations, Hunters over Arabia (Pen & Sword Aviation, 2018). Concentrating on the activities of the Command’s strike force, it is based on official records produced at the time and since held at the National Archives in Kew. Tales from the Front Line: Middle East Hunters is a fully illustrated companion volume that comprises anecdotes, stories and experiences of life on the Hunter squadrons as told by the pilots and airmen who flew and maintained the Hunter during its twelve-year tenure in Arabia.

A curious and interesting book.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Drawn on the author’s personal experiences with the Hunter Squadrons in the Middle East during withdrawal from Empire. The Hunter was a beautiful second generation jet that performed well and achieved good export sales. – Most Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here

Firetrench

Very readable and impressive.

Watch the full video review here

Scale Modelling Now

About Ray Deacon

Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1942, Ray grew up in South-East London and went on to study at William Penn Technical School before joining the Royal Air Force. On passing out in December 1959, he was posted to the Central Flying School (CFS), before arranging an exchange with a fellow radio mechanic on the DH Vampire T.11 line. Much to Ray’s delight, the squadron was also responsible for handling Hawker Hunters whenever they paid visits from their operating base at RAF Kemble. The opportunity to work on the ‘queen of the skies’ kindled a passion that has remained with him ever since.


His career in the Royal Air Force involved service in Aden, where he lived for two years, working on a busy front-line operational squadron equipped with the more potent ground attack and fighter reconnaissance versions of Hawkers impeccable aircraft. He also worked at RAF Little Rissington on the Varsity squadron, a posting that was followed by time spent at the CFS Gnat Base Engineering Team, where he became familiar with the Gnats operating with the Red Arrows Aerobatic Team and 4 Squadron CFS.


He left the RAF in May 1967. A year with the RAE at Farnborough was followed by a 25-year career in computing with IBM. Early retirement enabled Ray to dedicate his free time to carrying out in-depth studies of his favourite subjects; RAF Little Rissington during the CFS years and Hawker Hunter operations in the Middle East.

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