The Wreck Hunter (Hardback)
Battle of Britain & The Blitz
As long ago as 1961 a young Terry Parsons, then still in his twenties, began his long search for lost aircraft and memories of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. What he discovered over the decades that followed went far beyond the tangled wreckage of military aircraft, both fighters and bombers. For with each of the thousands of RAF and Luftwaffe artefacts he unearthed, came the intricate weave of life stories linking the valiant and the brave, the living and the dead.
Included among the items he has recovered from the many wreck sites he has investigated, was a mud-cloaked control column from a Spitfire with its gun button still switched to firing mode, a piece of Dornier Do 17 fuselage bearing the fatal bullet holes which led it to crash to the of earth of south-east England, a pilot’s waistcoat once used to stop the drafts and rattles in a Hurricane cockpit, blood-stained maps from a Luftwaffe bomber, and a buckled tail fin from a Me 110 bearing the unmistakable symbol of the swastika.
Now in this exclusive biography, created from Terry’s original notes and photographs stretching back almost seventy years, we learn not only about the historical significance of his own story as a wreck-hunter but the importance of remembering the lives of the men who fought in the skies above Britain in those desperate days of the Second World War.
Indeed, this book shows us how one man’s pioneering commitment to aviation archaeology ultimately serves as a unique tribute to thousands of young souls both lost and found of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.
The result is a book that makes us appreciate the sacrifice of many pilots, swept away by the constant friction of war. Even those who managed to escape that late summer of 1940, then often perished in other clashes, or carried with them forever the signs of these battles with a terrible enemy. Parsons and Melody Forman produce a book that deserves to be read and which is a testament to the courage of those pilots, and to the eternal respect they have earned.Old Barbed Wire Blog
Read the full Italian review here
The Wreck Hunter looks at Terry Parsons who from being a little lad had watched or witnessed planes from both sides come down. Now, most of these had been recovered by the authorities but Parsons has searched out these lost or unknown sites where planes have crashed. But it’s not just about ‘the dig’ or unearthing of the wrecks that Parsons is interested in, it’s the stories, the lives and basically the men on board he is interested in. And these aren’t just look at our men, no this is about men who died on both sides, these were all knights of the skies to Parsons. The book is a culmination of notes and material written by the author Melody Foreman, and Parsons really does seem like a good guy, which is bought across by the author who has written a very good story indeed.UK Historian
The book also includes a wide variety of photographs too, these are not just of planes etc, they include pictures of the digs, the aircraft involved and the people that were involved in a crash which really do bring home the intimate or family side of those involved. This was an excellent book and I fully recommend it be read by anyone.
The stories are all fascinating to read, and equally well supported by a good selection of photos which illustrate the digs under way, some of the artefacts they recovered and portraits of the aircrew concerned. As someone who grew up on the Kent & Sussex border in the early 1960's when Terry was beginning his early digs, I am familiar with many of the places he talks about, and can well understand the fascination he has had for his own interest. An excellent read, a story of someone who has done thing 'properly' throughout, honouring the lives of the airmen that flew these machines at a key point in our history. Certainly recommended.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
Read the full review here
This volume may be of interest to Archaeologists of all persuasions and aviation and military Historians, Readers with an interest in the Royal Air Force, the Battle of Britain and general military history and aviation, may also find it worthy of their attention. Despite the photographs being monochrome in format, aircraft modellers may find some of these useful for reference purposes.Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines