Originally published anonymously in 1941, this was the first and finest story of a fighter pilot in World War Two. Based on the author's personal journal, it is the classic account of the part played by RAF No.1 Squadron in the air battles that preceded the fall of France in 1940. Beginning on the day the squadron arrived in France, the book recounts the unnerving lull of the 'Sitzkrieg' and the sudden crescendo of violence and crushing fatigue of almost non-stop combats during the 'Blitzkrieg'. Imbued with the Great War traditions of chivalry, Richey and his comrades accorded the enemy fighter squadron mercy and respect, until the disillusion of witnessing the Luftwaffe's callous attacks on helpless refugees changed all that. It was then that the skills and elan of the RAF's premier fighter squadron were turned to even greater account, and the result was a remarkable combat record. By the time they withdrew from France on 18 June 1940, No.1 Squadron had destroyed a total of 155 enemy aircraft, 114 of them in only ten days - for the loss of three pilots killed, two wounded, and one prisoner of war. As Paul Richey wrote: 'It seems - and I believed it was - a miracle.'
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Born in 1916, he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1937. Severely wounded in action in the Battle of France, he returned to combat flying in England in 1941, leading a Spitfire squadron on offensive sweeps over occupied France. In 1942 he was sent to the India/Burma theatre to revise their fighter tactics. Invalided home in early 1944, he was later posted to SHAEF Belgium, and ended the war as a Wing Commander Operations in the War Room of the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany. A dedicated Europhile, he was working on a history of Anglo-French relations when he died in 1969.
Fighter Pilot by Paul Richey
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
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