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The ‘Real’ Spitfire Pilot (Hardback)

Flight Lieutenant D.M. Crook DFC’s Original Unpublished Manuscript

Aviation > Aircraft > Spitfires & Hurricanes Aviation > WWII WWII

By David M Crook, Edited by Dilip Sarkar MBE
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 168
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399003360
Published: 21st September 2021



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Flight Lieutenant David Moore Crook DFC’s original Spitfire Pilot ranks among the finest first-hand accounts published during the Second World War, particularly for a Battle of Britain airman. It rightly remains a sought-after classic.

A Spitfire pilot during the epic aerial battles of the summer of 1940, ‘DMC’ became a decorated ace. However, he did not survive the war: his Spitfire inexplicably crashed into the sea off the Scottish coast on 18 December 1944. A married man and father, he remains missing.

First published under wartime conditions in 1942, Spitfire Pilot was not heavily censored – unlike Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC’s similar first-hand account Spitfire! The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot, published the same year. DMC’s book was based on his entries in two Stationary Office lined notebooks, hastily scribbled between sorties, and using his pilot’s flying log book for reference.

In 1990, the renowned Battle of Britain historian Dilip Sarkar traced DMC’s widow, Dorothy, who enthusiastically supported the idea of re-publishing Spitfire Pilot. She duly uncovered bound copies of DMC’s original manuscript, which she passed to Dilip.

The Real Spitfire Pilot is, therefore, DMC’s original, completely uncensored and unedited words, shared here for the first time. It provides a totally authentic window on the past, providing a unique glimpse at the lives – and deaths – of real Spitfire pilots in our Finest Hour. With an introduction and conclusion by Dilip Sarkar, and illustrated with previously unseen photographs, this is destined to become another classic.

"Regarded as a classic, because written at the time, has a ring of total authenticity".

The Aviation Historian - Issue No 44

"This is a remarkable piece of editorial work and therefore a very good read."

Adrian Greaves, The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society
 Dilip Sarkar MBE

About Dilip Sarkar MBE

Driven by his passion to record and share the human experience of war, DILIP SARKAR is a best-selling and prolific author whose work is highly regarded globally. A noted expert on the Battle of Britain period, the Few and Spitfire stories, Dilip enjoyed a long and very personal relationship with many survivors. Made an MBE for ‘services to aviation history in 2003, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. A sought after, dynamic, speaker both in person and, more recently, ‘virtually’, Dilip’s enthusiasm is infectious; he has exhibited internationally and spoken at innumerable prestigious venues. An experienced broadcaster and presenter, he continues to work on TV documentaries both on and off camera, and is a firm supporter of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
Dilip is Project Lead on Battle of Britain: The People's Project, a new project launched in July 2022 in partnership with Pen & Sword and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, which aims to discover untold stories from the Battle of Britain as part of a comprehensive seven-volume history of the battle. Visit the project website at https://www.battleofbritainpeoplesproject.com.

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