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Thread: 92 Squadron Pilot's Lounge

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    "Bomber Country" Waddington, Lincolnshire.

    Default Re: 92 Squadron History

    Just a few books that have a 92 Sqn involvement (mentioned in the "Bibliography" section of the above web site)

    Best of the Few
    This is a wonderful history of 92 Squadron in the first year or so of WWII. It is an absolute labour of love by the author Michael Robinson who tracked down many of 92's members from this period interviewed them and obtained never seen photos from their personal collections. This is a great book and gives a vivid picture of this squadron which was renowned for both working hard and playing hard. The text is in a very readable style and combined with the wealth of photos make for a worthy history of this great unit.

    Sadly the print run for this title was small due to it being self published and therefore copies command fairly high prices on the second hand market. However it is well worth tracking down and spending the high price for this superb history of 92 in the early stages of WWII. A must for anyone with a serious interest in either 92, the Few or the Battle of Britain. Very highly recommended.

    Smoke Trails in the Sky
    92 Squadron holds an (in)famous place in the history of the Battle of Britain. As well as being one of the most successful squadrons in the air during this period they were also one of the most hard living on the ground. 92's parties and shenanigans are legendary and this is the highly enjoyable memoir of one of 92's "bad boys" who went on to fight over North Africa and eventually pursued a career in Hollywood.

    "Smoke Trails in the Sky" is a particularly candid account of Tony Bartley's war, both the fierce fighting in the air and the very hard partying on the ground. He makes no attempt to gloss over issues or subjects and the reader has the feeling that Tony is telling the whole story without embellishment or self-censorship. From his pre-war days through the savage fighting over France, Britain and North Africa to his travels to the US and his eventual involvement with the film industry in Hollywood, Tony tells his story with humour and insight. This account is also all the more honest for Tony's self doubts about doing a good job and being a good leader which he tells and this gives a very humanising facet to the book. Overall his likeable character comes across from every page and the memoir is a very enjoyable read. A great account by one of the most dashing characters of the RAF.

    Spitfire Leader
    New Zealand fighter pilot Rosie Mackie served from 1941-1945, operating in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Holland with 485, 243, 92 Squadrons, ending the war as commander of 122 Tempest Wing. He only once got a bullet in his own aircraft during his many engagements and, on one occasion, shot down an enemy plane with just six cannon shells.

    "Spitfire Leader" tells the story of NZ ace, Evan "Rosie" Mackie, one of NZ's greatest fighter pilots. With the help of renowned aviation historian Christopher Shores, Max Avery has created a fascinating biography, detailing Mackie's early life, his training and operational postings over north-western Europe and the Mediterranean. Mackie was an incredibly clinical pilot who achieved over 20 confirmed air victories but was amazingly only ever hit once during all of his aerial engagements. Testament to the man's piloting skill and situational awareness.

    Enthusiasts of the air war will thoroughly enjoy this book which is full of interviews with the man himself and those he served with. Also of great interest is the appendix which was a paper submitted by Mackie to Fighter Command on the tactical use of the Hawker Tempest V during operations. A superb read and highly recommended.

    First Light
    Surviving Battle of Britain fighter aces were thin on the ground even in 1941, so any new book more than 60 years later from a previously unknown pilot is bound to get noticed. And First Light is not just any book. It might not turn out to be a lasting classic, like Richard Hillary's The Last Enemy or Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, but it is a cut well above the bog standard wartime reminiscences of many retired military bods. For a start Wellum can write, but more than this he has an instinctive feel for a good story. He begins First Light as a fresh-faced, rather obnoxious public schoolboy keen to blag his way into the RAF in March 1939; just three years, two full tours on Spitfires, the Battle of Britain, nearly 100 escorts and fighter sweeps over occupied France and a Malta convoy later, Wellum was physically and mentally burnt out before the age of 22. An old man in a boy's body. His descriptions of the excitement, freedom and, at times, sheer terror of operating in a three-dimensional airspace are vividly powerful, but perhaps his greatest gift is to get across the way the fatigue and the emotional shutting off creeps up unnoticed.

    The Desert Air War 1939 - 45
    In the face of the massive publicity accorded to General Montgomery and his adversary, General Erwin Rommel, and bearing in mind the endless controversy that has raged over the dismissal by Mr Churchill of Generals Wavell and Auchinleck, it is easy to forget that the war in North Africa would have run a very different course had it not been for the part played by the Royal Air Force. During those long months when the men on the ground went back and forth across the desert in a dizzying succession of triumphs and reverses the men of the Royal Air Force, often woefully under equipped, struggled valiantly to deep possession of the skies under which the troops were fighting. Richard Bickers, author of several books on the history of the aerial warfare, saw the war in North Africa and Italy from both the ground and the air, and uses his own experiences, interwoven with the recollections of numerous contemporaries, to create a vivid picture of what it was like to fly, to fight and to control operations over the desert at that time. He also gives the usually ignored ground crews the full measure of the recognition due to them - ground gunners, armourers, motor transport drivers and others.
    Last edited by Splash_EAF92; 2013-03-26 at 08:12.

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