Royal Air Force - Vintage Airfix


Royal Air Force books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- The Second World War Illustrated - By Jack Holroyd..
- The Vultee Vengeance in Battle - By Peter C Smith..
- Through the Barrier - By Air Vice-Marshall Clive Evans CBE DL..
- Tornado GR1 - By Michael John W Napier..
- Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors First Edition - By Phil Tomaselli..
- Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors Second Edition - By Phil Tomaselli..
- Voices in Flight: RAF Escapers and Evaders in WWII - By Martin Bowman..
- Voices in Flight: RAF Fighter Pilots in WW II - By Martin Bowman..
- Voices in Flight: RAF Night Operations - By Martin Bowman..
- Winged Crusaders - By Michael Napier..
- Winged Sabres - By Robert A Sellwood..
- Winged Warriors - By Paul McDonald..
- World War II RAF Airfields in Norfolk - By Martin Bowman..

 


 

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The Second World War Illustrated

By Jack Holroyd

The Second World War IllustratedDescription:

The first volume covers contributory factors leading up to the outbreak of hostilities. Hitler's amazing success in correcting the real and perceived insults to the German nation resulting from the Great War and the Treaty of Versailles is acknowledged. There followed a military operation – Blitzkrieg – which rocked the world as two super powers, France and Great Britain, were soundly thrashed on the battlefield of Europe by Nazi Germany. With the skin of their teeth the British Expeditionary Force fled across the Channel from Dunkirk, leaving most of their equipment behind. The invasion of Kent in the south of England by a triumphant enemy equipped with a cruel and oppressive regime replete with Gestapo, concentration camps and policies of racial and political persecution presented a spine-tingling threat to the British people. With Winston Churchill at the helm disparaging peace treaties with the Nazi regime, the fight back began. A few thousand fighter pilots of the RAF defeated the Luftwaffe by a very narrow margin and Hitler looked to the east for his further bullying of national groups. The first year of the war ended, in September 1940, with Mussolini threatening Egypt and the Suez Canal.

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The Vultee Vengeance in Battle

By Peter C Smith

The Vultee Vengeance in BattleDescription:

This book describes the extraordinary combat career of the American-built Vultee Vengeance dive-bomber in both the Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force service during the Burma Campaigns of 1942-45. This single-engine, all-metal aircraft was ordered by the Ministry of Supply during the darkest days of World War II when the lethal German combination of Junkers Ju.87 Stuka and Panzer tank forces had conquered most of Europe in a campaign that lasted a mere few weeks and the invasion of Britain was considered imminent.

The RAF had invented the dive-bomber concept in 1917 but had consistently rejected it in the inter-war period with the obsession of heavy bombing predominating official thinking almost exclusively. By the time the Vengeance arrived a still-reluctant RAF was seeking a precision bomber to prevent a repeat of the Japanese Naval attacks in the Indian Ocean and six squadrons were set up to counter this threat. With the Japanese on the borders of Burma and India, these aircraft, no longer required for the original role, proved by far and away the most accurate bomber aircraft operated by the British up to that time.

The Allied Armies on the ground, including Orde Wingate’s Chindits, clamoured for their continued use and considered them essential, but in vain, and by 1945 all had been replaced. Their achievements have been ignored, falsified or scorned ever since but here, from eyewitness accounts and official records, is their full and true story.

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Through the Barrier

By Air Vice-Marshall Clive Evans CBE DL

Through the BarrierDescription:

Clive Evans had a lengthy front-line flying career in which he flew Hunters, Canberras and Lightnings. He covers the roles, performance and technical details of each of these types before recounting his own personal experiences on them. The final fast jet he flew was during a three year posting to the USA to evaluate the General Dynamics F-111 that the British Government were considering purchasing. It was at the end of that overseas tour that he was severely injured whilst driving to the airport to return to the U.K.

Lucky to escape with his life, he suffered major spinal damage and was initially partly paralysed: he eventually recovered but his injuries put an end to flying fast jets. Nevertheless, his return to duty involved becoming Project Officer for the design of the new Tornado, followed by a year at Staff College after which he became the Personal Staff Officer to the Air Marshal tasked with procuring new air systems for the Services. He returned to flying by converting to the Hercules, became CO of 24 Squadron, and took part in the Cyprus emergency of 1974.

Clive then became Station Commander at RAF Lyneham which suddenly became the main transport base for supplying our forces during the Falklands War. He drove the Station to unprecedented levels of effort and devised the programme to train the crews to become capable of air-to-air refuelling; a skill that was vital to undertake the long-range flights required in the South Atlantic. The Falkland Islands featured again when, having been promoted to Air Commodore, he was sent there as Deputy Commander of all British Forces.

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Tornado GR1

By Michael John W Napier

Tornado GR1Description:

Replacing the Vulcan, Buccaneer and Jaguar in the front line of the Cold War, the remarkable “swing-winged” Tornado GR1 provided Britain’s strike capability in the last years of the Cold War in the 1980s, equipping some 10 RAF squadrons. During the Gulf War, Tornado GR1 crews led Britain’s contribution to Coalition operations against Iraq, and in the subsequent years Tornado GR1s were involved almost continuously in operations over Iraq. In 1999 the Tornado GR1 force carried out offensive missions over Kosovo as part of NATO operations in the Balkans.

The Tornado GR1’s Terrain Following Radar gave the aircraft a unique capability: it was the first RAF aircraft to have the ability to operate at low-level at night and in all-weathers. The incredible flexibility of both the aircraft and its crews was demonstrated by the successful switch to medium-level operations using laser-guided weapons after the Cold War.

Produced in the same style format as Javelin: An Operational History (which approaches the subject from the perspective of the RAF squadrons which operated the aircraft), Tornado GR1: An Operational History describes in detail the accomplishments and day-to-day workings of the operational RAF Tornado GR1 units in the UK, Germany, the Middle East and across the globe. The book is underpinned by research from original official documents, augmented by the personal accounts by Tornado air- and ground-crews. It is richly illustrated throughout with photographs of the aircraft.

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Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors First Edition

By Phil Tomaselli

Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors First EditionDescription:

Whether you are interested in the career of an individual air-man or woman, researching medals awarded to a pilot or crew member or just want to know more about a particular squadron or operation, this book will point you in the right direction. Assuming that the reader has no prior knowledge of the air force, its history or organization, Phil Tomaselli explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. He also recommends resources available online as well as books and memoirs. Each era in air force history is described, from the pioneering days of early aviation and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War to the creation of the Royal Air Force, its operations during the Second World War and its postwar development. The author explains the evolving organization of the air force in each period. He also provides pointers and examples which should help researchers find the records of units and bases that individuals served in.

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Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors Second Edition

By Phil Tomaselli

Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors Second EditionDescription:

In this fully revised second edition of his best-selling Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors Phil Tomaselli explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. Whether you are interested in the career of an individual air-man or woman, researching medals awarded to a pilot or crew member or just want to know more about a particular squadron or operation, this handbook will point you in the right direction.

Each era in air force history is described, from the pioneering days of early aviation and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War to the creation of the Royal Air Force, its operations during the Second World War and its post-war development. Phil Tomaselli outlines the evolving organization of the air force in each period. He also provides pointers and examples which should help researchers find the records of units and bases that individuals served in, the kind of work they did, the aeroplanes they worked with and the men and women they worked alongside.

As featured in the Wiltshire Times.

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Voices in Flight: RAF Escapers and Evaders in WWII

By Martin Bowman

Voices in Flight: RAF Escapers and Evaders in WWIIDescription:

During the Second World War, 156 RAF men successfully escaped from German PoW camps in Western Europe. A further 1,975 men evaded capture after having been shot down over this same territory. Martin Bowman has drawn together tales of just a handful of these men, illustrating the bravery and resourcefulness that characterised their experiences. British, American, and Canadian pilot testimonies all feature, as does the fascinating story of a female secret agent, parachuted behind enemy lines. By bringing these stories together, Bowman is able to capture an authentic sense of the times at hand and the reality of life as an escaper/evader during this tumultuous and incredibly dangerous time. This is an entertaining publication set to keep readers on the edge of the seats, and it serves as a tribute to the courageous individuals who found themselves behind enemy lines during the Second World War.

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Voices in Flight: RAF Fighter Pilots in WW II

By Martin Bowman

Voices in Flight: RAF Fighter Pilots in WW IIDescription:

This is a pulsating account of the young RAF fighter boys who flew Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants in England against the Luftwaffe and from Malta 1940-45 against the Regia Aeronautica. Their story is told using combat reports and first person accounts from RAF, German and Commonwealth pilots who fought in the skies in France in 1940, in England during the Battle of Britain, and in the great air offensives over Occupied Europe from 1942 onwards.

Chapters include the stories of Wing Commander D. R. S. Bader, Wing Commander Adolph Gysbert 'Sailor' Malan, Oberleutnant Ulrich Steinhilper, Flight Lieutenant H. M. Stephen, Squadron Leader Robert Stanford Tuck, 'Johnny' Johnson, Squadron Leader M. N. Crossley, Squadron Leader A. McKellar, 'Cowboy' Blatchford and Squadron Leader D. H. Smith, an Australian veteran of the Battle of Malta and many others whose names have now become legendary.

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Voices in Flight: RAF Night Operations

By Martin Bowman

Voices in Flight: RAF Night OperationsDescription:

'The Navy can lose us the war, but only the Air Force can win it. Therefore our supreme effort must be to gain overwhelming mastery in the air. The Fighters are our salvation but the Bombers alone provide the means of victory...'

So said Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the War Cabinet on the first anniversary of the outbreak of war. But when Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939 her bombers were predominantly twin-engined types like the Wellington, Whitley and the Hampden which after suffering carnage during the day were soon switched to night operations.

Wartime speeches alone cannot begin to describe the misery and fortitude, desperation and terror endured by the civilian population during the 'Blitz Nights' in Coventry, the London docklands and the East End as night after night bombs and incendiaries rained down on them. Their personal experiences and those of war correspondents like James Negley Farson are as vivid, poignant and descriptive as those of the bomber crews carrying the war to the enemy in the early night bomber offensive. These too are mostly recounted at first hand, sometimes in BBC broadcasts to the nation; and they include 'The Unanswerable Double'; 'Winged Words'; 'German Defences'; 'Getting Frightened'; 'Jump For It!'; 'The Night The Fuel Ran Out'; 'Flames, Flares and Fires'; 'Busted Flush'; 'The Tail Gunner's Story' and 'Hampden and 'Wimpy' Ops'. They tell just what it was like to fly in a heavy bomber over occupied Europe.

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Winged Crusaders

By Michael Napier

Winged CrusadersDescription:

Formed in 1915, and still operational today, 14 Squadron is one of the RAF's longest serving and most senior Squadrons. Spending the first thirty years of its operational life in the Middle East, the history of this Squadron is a rich one, but one which, until now, has gone largely unrecorded. Napier effectively brings together all the historical scraps and shreds of stories which make up the collective history of this unit, from 1915 -1945, a period of great military and social upheaval. The author himself attests to the fact that the work is not merely about the aeroplanes operational history during this period, or the stark military facts (although enthusiasts of both these areas will find much here); rather, the work concerns itself to a large extent with the people who flew such aircraft. Recording the dramatic trials and tribulations of the people who were 14 Squadron, Napier provides a sympathetic and engaging account of this period of Military History.

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Winged Sabres

By Robert A Sellwood

Winged SabresDescription:

Winged Sabres is the story of a RFC & RAF squadron flying the cumbersome FE2 from February 1916 to September 1917, and then the superlative Bristol Fighter: a two-seater ‘fighter-reconnaissance’ squadron with an astonishingly high success rate.

20 Squadron was possibly the highest scoring squadron of the war and one of the most highly decorated, claiming over 600 combat victories with well over 400 confirmed in RFC & RAF Communiqués. Its members won seventy gallantry decorations including a posthumous Victoria Cross, and included fliers from the U.K. and around the world. Over 40 became aces, including the American Iaccaci brothers and some Canadians and others. But with a casualty rate of around 50 per cent including killed, wounded and POW they paid a high price.

Over 15 years research has gone into this book, covering a seldom-explored aspect of WW1 in the air: the two-seater fighter-reconnaissance squadrons. 20 Squadron’s motto was Facta Non Verba – Deeds Not Words!

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Winged Warriors

By Paul McDonald

Winged WarriorsDescription:

Winged Warriors is an open and honest account of one man’s perceptions and fears, his actions and mistakes, from a career that spanned four decades. The author spent fourteen years overseas and, at the height of the Cold War, served on two Tornado tactical nuclear squadrons in West Germany only fifteen minutes from responding in full measure to an anticipated Soviet onslaught. Earlier he had flown reconnaissance aircraft on NATO’s vulnerable southern flank. He was decorated for gallantry in 1980 and appointed OBE in 1995. Later as the senior RAF adviser in Kuwait he witnessed the air war against Iraq in 1998. Winged Warriors touches on many aspects of military service but it is not about war or war-fighting; it is about real people and their highs and lows, ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. And it is about the training and tragedy that affected a generation of aircrew many of whom gave their lives in preserving peace. It is those crews who stand out in Winged Warriors: true warriors in every sense of the word, blessed with an irrepressible sense of humour regardless of circumstance, a humour that was typically British and very typically RAF. 

Paul McDonald is a retired RAF group captain and a former fast-jet pilot and flying instructor. In his youth he was an Air Cadet and he is a current Air Cadet Gliding Instructor.

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World War II RAF Airfields in Norfolk

By Martin Bowman

World War II RAF Airfields in NorfolkDescription:

As part of the AHT series, this book covers airfields in NorfolkThis book looks at the history and personalities associated with each base, what remains today and explores the favourite local wartime haunts where aircrew and groundcrew would have sought well-deserved entertainment and relaxation. Museums and other places that are relevant are also described and general directions on how to get to them included.Airfields included are Attlebridge, Barton Bendish, Bircham Newton, Bodney,Coltishall, Docking, Downham Market, East Wretham, Feltwell, Fersfield, Foulsham, Great Massingham, Horsham St. Faith, Langham, Little Snoring, Ludham, Marham, Matlaske, Oulton, Sculthorpe, Swanton Morley, Watton, West Raynham and Weybourne.

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