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The Millionaires' Squadron (ePub)

The Remarkable Story of 601 Squadron and the Flying Sword


By Tom Moulson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 17.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 40 black and white images in plates
ISBN: 9781473838475
Published: 8th July 2014


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Imagined by an aristocrat in White's Club, London in 1925, a part-time squadron of wealthy young men with their own private aircraft was incorporated into a newly-established combat-ready Auxiliary Air Force, first as bombers, then fighters. The pre-war years combined serious training with frivolity and mischief, but the outbreak of war in 1939 changed that. Despite their social rank the pilots were thrust into the heart of the action, with mortality proving to be the great social leveler. From privileged pre-war lifestyles to front line deployment the lives of those who survived underwent radical change. Through the battles of Britain, Malta, the African desert and Italy the squadron's composition was transformed, and by war's end only a minority were British and none were millionaires. Britain had changed too, and the re-formed squadron filled with a combination of veterans and young middle-class ex-service pilots. The pilots flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain, and Spitfires thereafter until the arrival of jets in the '50s; DH Vampires and Gloster Meteors. The one aircraft they could not master was the little-loved mid-engine P-39 Bell Airacobra in 1941. Disbandment in 1957 of the by-then 'Royal' Auxiliary Air Force was fiercely resisted, but inevitable.

Originally published in 1964 to great acclaim, this second edition features a wealth of brand new content in the form of newly uncovered documentation and photo illustrations. It is set to bring the story of this eccentric and dynamic squadron to a whole new audience of aviation and military enthusiasts.

As seen in the Western Morning News and Epping Forest Guardian.

An excellent read. Thoroughly recommended.

The Moth - Magazine of The de Havilland Moth Club, No 195

"I recommend The Millionaires’ Squadron"

Read the full review here

Battle of Britain Memorial Trust website

Author article as featured in, on 601 Squadron's first National Service pilot, reflecting on life with North Weald's 'Weekend Warriors'

FlyPast, June 2017

As mentioned in

The RAF Club (News)

This is much more than air force history, but a fascinating look into a changing society. A greatly enjoyed read.


A well-written book which was a pleasure to read.

Military Modelling

As seen in the Waltham Forest Independent.

Waltham Forest Independent

On the outbreak of WWII the pilots were thrust into the heart of the action as this book reveals. During this period immediately before WWII, the RAF modified its command structure to rationalise for rapid expansion.

Royal Air Force News

As seen in the Express & Echo.

Express & Echo (Exeter)
 Tom Moulson

About Tom Moulson

Tom Moulson is a retired business executive and former pilot on 601 Squadron (County of London) Royal Auxillary Air Force from 1950 until its disbandment in 1957. This book is based on his earlier one published in 1964 and titled The Flying Sword: The Story of 601 Squadron. Taking advantage of the wealth of new information that has come to light since the first edition was released, this new edition looks set to bring the eccentric, often scandalous, but ultimately heroic endeavours of this intriguing branch of the RAF to a much wider audience. Tom currently resides in California.

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