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The ‘Real’ Spitfire Pilot (Hardback)

Flight Lieutenant D.M. Crook DFC’s Original Unpublished Manuscript

WWII Aviation Aviation in WWII Spitfires & Hurricanes

By Flt Lt D 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.

"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 research and share the stories of casualties, and record the human experience of war, DILIP SARKAR is a best-selling author whose work is highly regarded globally. A noted expert on the Battle of Britain period, who enjoyed a long and very personal relationship with the Few, Dilip was made an MBE in 2003 for ‘services to aviation history’, and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. He is a sought-after and dynamic speaker whose enthusiasm is infectious, presenting and exhibiting at many prestigious venues on an international basis, and has worked on TV documentaries, on and off camera. 

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