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Their Finest Hour (Hardback)

Stories of the Men who Won the Battle of Britain

Aviation WWII

By Nick Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 277
ISBN: 9781781593158
Published: 2nd March 2016



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Their Finest Hour tells the fascinating stories of six of Churchill’s ‘Few', each of whom played an important part in the Battle of Britain. Celebrated and much respected on their own squadrons, all have since faded into obscurity. Their achievements, against all odds, and the fortunes of their comrades-in-arms, many of whom died during the Battle, are told here in detail, some for the first time. This has been done in an effort to retrieve these stories from obscurity, bringing them to a wider audience and ensuring they are not forgotten.

Featured stories include that of Flying Officer Reginald Peacock DFC, the only Blenheim pilot of the Second World War to become a fighter ace; Squadron Leader Robert Reid, who flew throughout the Battle of Britain, having a hand in the destruction of three Bf 109s, and the damaging of two more; and Pilot Officer Douglas Cyril Winter, who flew Spitfires during the defence of the Dunkirk Beaches, before taking on the Luftwaffe in the skies over Southern England.

All these stories offer insights into this dynamic period of aviation history. Recorded here, they serve as poignant reminders of the efforts of the 'Few' and the contributions that they made to the Allied effort during the Second World War.

As featured in

Express and Star

This new title tells the stories of six of Winston Churchill’s ‘Few’, each of whom played an important part in the Battle of Britain. Celebrated and much respected in their own squadrons, all seem to have since faded into obscurity, but their achievements are remembered here. Flying Officer Reginald Peacock DFC, Squadron Leader Robert Reid, Pilot Officer Douglas Winter, Squadron Leader ‘Gil’ Gilbert, Flight Lieutenant Jan Kowalski DFC VM KW* and Sergeant Lennard Jowitt MiD are the pilots featured in this book, which provides interesting insights into this period. Their stories serve as poignant reminders of the efforts of the ‘Few’ and the contributions they made to the Allied effort during a pivotal stage of WW2. The author has included a great deal of information about the men, their actions and achievements and their respective squadrons. Well worth a read.

Stuart Asquith, Author

As featured in

Staffordshire Newsletter

This book is unique in its presentation of detail. It is a treasure trove for historians and genealogists with information gleaned from a wide variety of sources.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine May 2016
 Nick Thomas

About Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas is a former archaeologist and finds expert with a number of published reports to his name. He currently works as Collections Officer responsible for three museums, their settings and historical collections, having been the first manager of the Stafford Castle Museum and Visitor Centre, with which he has a 40-year association. Nick has contributed over 300 history articles to the local press and a number of journals, while finding time to work on many of the excavations in his home town. His previous biographies include RAF Top Gun: The Story of Battle of Britain Ace Teddy Donaldson, CB, CBE, DSO, AFC; Ben Bennions, DFC: Battle of Britain Fighter Ace; Kenneth ‘Hawkeye’ Lee, DFC: Battle of Britain and Desert Air Force Ace; Hurricane Squadron AceThe Story of Air Commodore Peter Brothers, CBE, DSO, DFCSniper of the Skies: The Story of George ‘Screwball’ Beurling, DSO,DFC, DFM*; and Their Finest Hour: Stories of the Men Who Won the Battle of Britain, all published by Pen and Sword.

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