Spitfires And Hurricanes - Vintage Airfix


Spitfires & Hurricane books

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

Contents:
- From Sapper to Spitfire Spy - By David Greville-Heygate, Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate..
- From the Spitfire Cockpit to the Cabinet Office - By J F Langer CBE AFC DL..
- Hurricane and Spitfire Pilots at War - By Terence Kelly..
- Hurricane Over The Jungle - By Terence Kelly..
- Hurricane Squadron Ace - By Nick Thomas..
- In All Things First: No. 1 Squadron at War 1939-45 - By Peter Caygill..
- Lady Lucy Houston DBE - By Miles Macnair..
- Secrets of the Spitfire - By Lance Cole..
- Spitfire Dive-bombers versus the V2 - By Bill Simpson..
- Spitfire! - By Dilip Sarkar MBE..
- Star-Spangled Spitfires - By Tony Holmes..
- Sydney Camm: Hurricane and Harrier Designer - By John Sweetman..
- The Air Battle for Malta - By James Douglas-Hamilton..
- The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots' Kitbag - By Mark Hillier..
- The Spitfire - By Bob Carruthers..

 


 

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From Sapper to Spitfire Spy

By David Greville-Heygate, Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate

From Sapper to Spitfire SpyDescription:

David Greville-Heygate was one of the few men who served in both the army and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, but it was in the sky that he really earned his stripes. Stalking the skies flying photo-reconnaissance missions with No. 16 Squadron over Northern France, he was to win the illustrious and highly coveted Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Another highlight saw him in action in the skies above the French coastline in preparation for the D-Day landings, taking photographs that would provide the allies with essential intelligence upon which to base their plans. Based in Holland in December 1944, David flew armed recces with No.168 Squadron then transferred to No.2 Squadron where he reported on troop movements behind German lines. During the course of a dynamic and eventful career, he flew a wide variety of iconic wartime aircraft including Lysanders, Mustangs, Typhoons and Spitfires in England, the Netherlands and Germany.

Although there have been many stories about the Battle of Britain there has been less published about the life of a photo reconnaissance pilot during this time. David's thrilling exploits in the sky and the part he played within the context of the wider war are enlivened here to great effect by his daughter, Sally-Anne Greville Heygate, herself a professional photographer. Using snippets from diary entries, letters, logbooks, squadron records and other documents, she has managed to construct an engaging history of a talented photo-reconnaissance pilot and the war in which he fought.

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From the Spitfire Cockpit to the Cabinet Office

By J F Langer CBE AFC DL

From the Spitfire Cockpit to the Cabinet OfficeDescription:

Air Commodore John Langer's career has been eventful to say the least. During the Second World War he flew gliders in India in preparation for airborne assaults in Burma, one of the most perilous landscapes to pass across during this time. Post-war, he served on a fighter squadron in Germany and in Malaya, where he was recommended for an AFC. Later on, he commanded No 43 (F) Squadron, the famous 'Fighting Cocks', and was awarded the AFC. As a Group Captain, he commanded RAF Valley and was awarded the CBE. He ended his RAF career as director of Flying Training where he set up the first team of the Red Arrows. By career’s end, he had flown fifty-six different types of aircraft. 

On leaving the RAF, he became the Civil Aviation Security Adviser to the UK Government, serving for eight years as a Crown Servant and a further seven years as a consultant. He was a frequent advisor to the Cabinet Office Briefing Room 'A' (Cobra), consulting with members of the cabinet on national and international aviation matters in the wake of a series of security and terrorist emergencies. In 1993 he was appointed Duty Lieutenant for Greater London, with responsibilities for the borough of Hillingdon, location of both Heathrow and Northolt airport. He looked after members of the Royal Family in their departures from these airports and became a good friend of Princess Diana, chaperoning her on a number of solo outings. Interesting details relating to some of their exchanges are included here. 

This is a unique autobiography, taking in a vast spectrum of events and experiences. It is also an important record of political, aviation and social history and should appeal to enthusiasts of all these areas of interest.

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Hurricane and Spitfire Pilots at War

By Terence Kelly

Hurricane and Spitfire Pilots at WarDescription:

The Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire were the two outstanding British-built fighter aircraft of World War II. In the Battle of Britain they formed the backbone of the RAFÕs famous victory against the Luftwaffe. Although often compared with each other by contemporary historians, many miss the point that each aircraft had its outstanding merits and served different purposes. This book looks at the operation of these aircraft in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East throughout World War II. It includes many first-hand accounts from the pilots themselves who relive exciting memories of flying the aircraft in combat.

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Hurricane Over The Jungle

By Terence Kelly

Hurricane Over The JungleDescription:

This is the author's personal account of how the 22 pilots of No 258 Squadron RAF left Scotland in late October 1941 until 120 days later when all those who had not been killed became prisoners of the Japanese. The story takes us to the final defence of Singapore and then on to Sumatra and Java where the author recaptures the atmosphere of the bitter aerial engagements with the Japanese enemy and the hostile jungle terrain over which they fought.

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Hurricane Squadron Ace

By Nick Thomas

Hurricane Squadron AceDescription:

Air Commodore Peter Malam 'Pete' Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC, and Bar (1917-2008) was one of the most heroic and highly praised pilots of the Second World War. Decorated extensively, he secured a total of 16 'kills' over the course of the conflict, with 10 of these occurring during the Battle of Britain. Pivotal moments in his career include the time, in August 1940, when his flight encountered around a hundred enemy aircraft, including Messerschmitt 110's; he led the flight in attack against them, and soon found himself in a stalled position, out of which he spun, only to be confronted by a Dornier 215, which he shot down, before later destroying a Messerschmitt 109. Scores of these kind of risky manoeuvres and winning victories punctuated a career defined by great courage, leadership and initiative in the face of fierce opposition. 

This new and engaging biography profiles a pilot who, until now, hasn't been the subject of such a thorough book-length study. The story of his career is incredibly entertaining, featuring a number of hair-raising episodes, and is sure to appeal to fans of aviation history as well as the more general reader seeking out an action-packed biography offering fresh insights into one of the most pivotal conflicts of the twentieth century.

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In All Things First: No. 1 Squadron at War 1939-45

By Peter Caygill

In All Things First: No. 1 Squadron at War 1939-45Description:

In All Thing's First looks in detail at 1 Squadron during the Second World War with particular emphasis on the pilots and its operational activities. 1 Squadron was active from a very early stage when it flew to France on 8 September 1939 as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force and played a significant role in the Battle of France. Unlike most other squadrons that fought in France, it also played a major part in the Battle of Britain in 11 Group. 

Later in the war the Squadron had considerable success in the night intruder role and also took part in the defence against hit-and-run raiders. It was highly active over occupied Europe carrying out Rhubarb and Ramrod operations including the dive bombing of V-1 installations. When the V-1 campaign began 1 Squadron was the highest scoring Spitfire squadron. During the Second World War it flew the Hawker Hurricane from 1939-42 before converting to the Typhoon. In early 1944 it received Spitfire IXs and ended the war with the Griffon-powered Spitfire F.21. The main parts of the book are as follows

1) Early Days - a brief look at the history of 1 Squadron up to 1939
2) The First Team - pilot profiles
3) The Phoney War - Blitzkrieg - The Withdrawal from France 
4) The Battle of Britain
5) Sweeps and Circuses in 1941
6) Night Intruders
7) The Typhoon - combat with Fw 190 Jabos and Ramrods
8) The Spitfire
9) The V-1 Campaign and conversion to the Spitfire F.21
10) The Post War Years - the No.1 Squadron story brought up to date

There will also be extensive appendices to include aircraft losses, details of selected operations and pilot escape and evasion.

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Lady Lucy Houston DBE

By Miles Macnair

Lady Lucy Houston DBEDescription:

The life-story of Lady Lucy Houston DBE must surely be one of the most romantic and dramatic epics of the last one hundred and fifty years, yet nowadays she is a woman unknown. She was a renowned beauty with a sharp intelligence, and over the years she would exploit her charismatic charm, first as a teenager to entice a wealthy lover, and subsequently to lead three husbands to the altar.

She was an ardent and productive campaigner for women’s rights, conducting outstanding works of charity during the Great War, such as providing a convalescent home for nurses returning from the front line. In recognition of these endeavours, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1917. After the death of her third husband, a known misogynist, ‘under mysterious circumstances’, she was temporarily certified mad, but his Will was to make her the richest woman in England. 

During the rest of her eventful and eccentric lifetime, she spent her fortune on a vast number of charitable causes, whilst waging a feisty political campaign against weak British politicians of all parties. As a great admirer of how Mussolini had restored Italy’s patriotic self-esteem, she championed men like Winston Churchill as the future saviour of her own beloved country. But her greatest legacy arose from her steadfast support for the Royal Air Force, whose finances were being crippled. She funded the 1931 Schneider Trophy Race as well as the Houston-Mount Everest Expedition of 1933. This funding had a crucial bearing on the development of the Merlin engine and the Spitfire aircraft, essentially kick starting the chain of events that would ultimately end in allied victory during the Battle of Britain. She died before the cataclysmic war that she so accurately predicted however, her death being precipitated by an infatuation with Edward, Prince of Wales.

In spite of her many eccentricities, the enchanting, infuriating, inspiring and endlessly controversial Lucy Houston deserves to be remembered as a very patriotic lady indeed.

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Secrets of the Spitfire

By Lance Cole

Secrets of the SpitfireDescription:

This book tells the tale of the brilliant aerodynamicist Beverley Shenstone MASc, HonFRAes, FAIAA, AFIAS, FCASI, HonOSTIV. As R.J. Mitchell's chief aerodynamicist, it was Shenstone who designed the Spitfires wing the wing that gave the Spitfire its crucial advantage in the Battle of Britain and beyond. A quiet man, Shenstone never sought glory for his work, yet in recent years he has been credited as the man who persuaded Mitchell to adopt the ellipse a modified ellipse that was unique in its shape and its combined use of two integrated aerofoil sections. Shenstones knife-edge shape reached far back into early aeronautics for its inspiration. This book also names the other forgotten Spitfire design contributors who were Mitchells men Mr Faddy, Mr Fear, Mr Fenner, Mr Shirvall, a Prof Howland and others.

Intriguingly, Shenstone had left his native Canada and early training as an RCAF pilot, to study at Junkers and then under the father of the delta wing Alexander Lippisch in Germany in the early 1930s. There, he became immersed in delta wings and flying wings. He also became a glider pilot. The story of how Beverley came to be in the right place at the right time is revealed for the first time. So too are the enigmatic tales of his involvement with the military, the intelligence world, Lord Beaverbrook, the USAF, and Canadian aviation.

During the war Shenstone worked at the top secret Wright Patterson air force base and was involved with the Air Ministry and the pro-British movement in America when Shenstone worked for Air Chief Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman, the unsung hero behind British defence procurement. Shenstone achieved high office a President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, technical director at BOAC, chief engineer at BEA and a consultant to several aircraft makers. He was courted by Avro, de Havilland and Vickers, and was the force behind the renaissance of human-powered flight.

Using exclusive access to his family documents, his unpublished autobiography and many notes and stories, as well as forensic research, this book details for the first time, a new twist to the Spitfires story and the secrets of its advanced science. A tale of design and military intelligence reveals a story of a man whose name should be more widely known in the UK, Canada and the aviation world.

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Spitfire Dive-bombers versus the V2

By Bill Simpson

Spitfire Dive-bombers versus the V2Description:

On 8 September 1944 the first of over 1,000 V2 missiles aimed at southern England exploded in west London. It had been launched from a wooded street corner in Den Haag in the Netherlands. Fighter Command was responsible for defending Britain from air attack and thus Air Marshal Roderic Hill countered the threat by using six squadrons of Spitfires from 12 Group bases in Norfolk to discover and then dive-bomb the mobile V2 launch sites scattered throughout the Dutch towns and countryside. This was no easy task as the missiles were well camouflaged and often positioned adjacent to dwellings occupied by civilians. The RAF was under orders to cause minimum damage to Dutch property and life, therefore precision bombing became a necessity. This is a full account of the campaign including discussions of the strategy and tactics employed and the equipment used and it also considers the effect upon Dutch civilians. It draws upon the experiences of sixteen Allied pilots, ground crew and the Dutch who were at the receiving-end of the attacks.

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Spitfire!

By Dilip Sarkar MBE

Spitfire!Description:

As a child, Dilip Sarkar was fascinated by the haunting image of an anonymous RAF Spitfire pilot. Taken minutes after landing from a Battle of Britain combat, this was Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC, the commander of 19 Squadron, based at Fowlmere – and author of the stirring first-hand account Spitfire! The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot, published under the pseudonym B.J. Ellan. Deeply moving was the discovery that in 1942 Brian was reported missing after a futile nuisance raid over the Dutch coast.

During the mid-1980s, Dilip began researching the life and times of both Brian Lane and 19 Squadron, forging close friendships with many of the unit’s surviving Battle of Britain pilots and support staff. This enabled identification of the wartime censor’s blanks regarding people and places in Brian’s book, and the publication in 1990 of Dilip’s first ever book, Spitfire Squadron: 19 Squadron at War 1939-41.

Nearly thirty years later, sadly all of the survivors are now deceased, but Dilip’s close relationship has provided a huge archive of correspondence and interviews in addition to a unique photographic collection. Furthermore, the author, a retired police detective, has thoroughly investigated the life – and death – of Squadron Leader Lane.

This completely new book, Spitfire!, covers everything we would ever need to know about such a unit during the critical pre and early war period: the social, political, aviation and military history all in one volume – emphasising the human experience involved and the stories of casualties. With an immense photographic collection – many published here for the first time – this book is destined to become a classic.

So, strap yourself in, turn gun button to ‘fire’, and join 19 Squadron’s Spitfire pilots during our Darkest and Finest Hours … the ultimate ‘Band of Brothers’?

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Star-Spangled Spitfires

By Tony Holmes

Star-Spangled SpitfiresDescription:

Through the medium of period photography, Star-Spangled Spitfires chronicles the combat operations of the USAAF units equipped with the iconic Supermarine fighter whilst employed in both the European and Mediterranean theatres of war, from the summer of 1942 right up to the end of the conflict.

Only a handful of British combat aircraft wore the stars and bars of the USAAF during the Second World War, with the Beaufighter, Mosquito and Spitfire being the key types to see action with American crews in American squadrons. The Spitfire was, by some margin, the most widely used of the three, and the Yanks that flew it in combat rated the fighter very highly. Employed primarily by the six squadrons of the 31st and 52nd Fighter Groups, initially from airfields in the UK and then in North Africa and Italy, the Spitfire was used both as a fighter and fighter-bomber until it was replaced by the P-51 Mustang from the spring of 1944.

The final star-spangled Spitfires in the frontline were the Eighth Air Forces high-flying and unarmed PR XI photo-reconnaissance aircraft, flown by to the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group alongside F-5 Lightnings from November 1943. Ranging as far into Germany as Berlin, the PR Blue Spitfires provided critical target imagery both pre- and post-strike for the Mighty Eighths heavy bombardment groups through to April 1945.

All feature here across a series of black and white and colour images that all capture some unique aspect of the star-spangled Spitfire's illustrious service career.

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Sydney Camm: Hurricane and Harrier Designer

By John Sweetman

Sydney Camm: Hurricane and Harrier DesignerDescription:

‘This Man Saved Britain’ ran a headline in the News Chronicle on 18 February 1941, in a reference to the role of Sydney Camm, designer of the Hawker Hurricane, during the Battle of Britain. Similarly, the Minister of Economic Warfare, Lord Selborne, advised Winston Churchill that to Camm ‘England owed a great deal’.

Twenty-five years later, following his death in 1966, obituaries in the Sunday Express and Sunday Times, among other tributes, referred to ‘Hurricane Designer’ or ‘Hurricane Maker’, implying that this machine represented the pinnacle of Camm’s professional achievement. Sir Thomas Sopwith, the respected aircraft designer and Hawker aircraft company founder, believed that Camm deserved much wider recognition, being ‘undoubtedly the greatest designer of fighter aircraft the world has ever known.’

Born in 1893, the eldest of twelve children, Camm was raised in a small, terraced house. Despite lacking the advantages of a financially-secure upbringing and formal technical education after leaving school at 14, Camm would go on to become one of the most important people in the story of Britain’s aviation history.

Sydney Camm’s work on the Hurricane was far from the only pinnacle in his remarkable career in aircraft design and engineering – a career that stretched from the biplanes of the 1920s to the jet fighters of the Cold War. Indeed, over fifty years after his death, the revolutionary Hawker Siddeley Harrier in which Camm played such a prominent figure, following ‘a stellar performance in the Falkland Island crisis’, still remains in service with the American armed forces.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore, as the author reveals in this detailed biography, that Camm would be knighted in his own country, receive formal honours in France and the United States, and be inducted into the International Hall of Fame in San Diego.

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The Air Battle for Malta

By James Douglas-Hamilton

The Air Battle for MaltaDescription:

This book provides an intriguing and realistic account of the struggle for the possession of Malta during World War II. The air battle raged for two and a half years during which time 14,000 tons of bombs were dropped on a defiant population. The history is based on the diaries of Lord David Douglas-Hamilton, the author's uncle, who was the leader of a Spitfire squadron that defended the island during the worst of the crisis.

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The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots' Kitbag

By Mark Hillier

The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots' KitbagDescription:

The scenes are familiar ones; the young ‘Brylcream Boys’ sat at dispersal waiting for the haunting call of ‘Scramble’, lounging in their shirt sleeves and fur-lined boots, their leather flying helmets lying limp by their side. But what did the RAF fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain really wear, and what vital items would their kitbags have held?

The casual air of the dashing pilots of Fighter Command in the Spitfire Summer of 1940 conceals a necessarily professional approach to their task of holding Hitler’s Luftwaffe at bay. Therefore, each item of clothing and equipment they wore and carried had a role and a function, be it for warmth and comfort, communication, or for fighting and survival.

All the objects that an RAF fighter pilot was issued with during the Battle of Britain are explored in this book in high-definition colour photographs, showing everything from the differing uniforms, to headgear, personal weapons, gloves, goggles, parachute packs and the essential Mae West life jacket. Each item is fully described and its purpose and use explained.

Relive Britain’s finest hour as never before – through the actually clothing and accoutrements of ‘The Few’.

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The Spitfire

By Bob Carruthers

The SpitfireDescription:

This unique contemporary account produced from contemporary reports and debriefs provides a primary source insight into reality of being a fighter pilot in World War II. Fascinating reading for military enthusiasts and anyone interested in the true story of World War II.

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