This wonderful book, which contains many photographs ( including some in colour ) as well as a couple of profiles and maps, tells the story of two iconic R.A.F. fighters : the Hurricane and the Spitfire.
||25 x 19 x 2 cm
|Nbr. de pages
|Etat du livre
||Un peu abîmé
||Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader
Over Britain, Malta, the Channel, the North Africa desert, the beaches of Normandy, they wheeled, dived and fought for mastery of the skies. In the darkest days of the war, the very names Spitfire and Hurricane symbolised the mood of Britain's defiance. Narrated by Douglas Bader, with special contributions by some of the other surviving fighter aces themselves, Fight for the Sky is the unique story, told in words and pictures, of the aircraft and their pilots, and of what it was like to face the Me 109, Me 110 and the Focke - Wulf 190 alone above the clouds.
Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader C.B.E., D.S.O. & Bar, D.F.C. & Bar, D.L., F.R.Ae.S. ( February 1st, 1910 - September 5th, 1982 ) was a British flying ace in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
Born in Saint John's Wood ( London ), Douglas Bader joined the R.A.F. in 1928 as an officer cadet at the R.A.F. Cranwell College, where he continued to excel at sports ( rugby, cricket, hockey and boxing ). On July 26th, 1930, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer ( P/O ) into No. 23 Squadron. On December 14th, 1931, while attempting some aerobatics in a Bristol Bulldog Mark IIA ( at Woodley Airfield ), his aircraft crashed when the tip of the left wing touched the ground. Seriously wounded in the legs, Douglas Bader unfortunately could not avoid the amputation of both. Having been on the brink of death, he recovered and was given a new pair of artificial legs. He then retook flight training, passed his check flights and then requested reactivation as a pilot. Although there were no regulations applicable to his situation, he was retired against his will on medical grounds.
After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, however, Douglas Bader returned to the R.A.F. and was accepted as a pilot. He took part in the Phoney War ( 1939 ) and scored his first victories over Dunkirk during the Battle of France ( 1940 ). He then took part in the Battle of Britain and became a friend and supporter of Air Vice - Marshal Trafford Leigh - Mallory and his ’ Big Wing ’ experiments.
On August 9th, 1941, as a Wing Commander ( W/Cdr ), Douglas Bader led an offensive patrol over the French coast, flying a Spitfire Mark Va. he managed to shot down a Bf 109 and probably destroyed another one before his ’ Kite ’ was hit and then dived in a slow spin. Was it a mid - air collision with a Bf 109? The mystery remains... Nevertheless, he managed to bale out but lost one of his artificial legs. By the time he baled out, he was credited with 22 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.
Taken prisoner by the Germans, W/Cdr Bader was treated with great respect and met Adolf Galland, one of the German top aces. Despite his disability, Douglas Bader made a number of escape attempts, such as the one from the hospital were he was recovering, and another one from Stalag Luft III in Sagan ( Silesia ). He was eventually sent to the Oflag IV - C ( Colditz Castle ) on August 18th, 1942. He remained there until April 1945 when the camp was liberated by the First United States Army.
After the war, Douglas Bader continued his career in the R.A.F., and retired with the rank of Group Captain ( G/C, July 21st, 1946 ).
Afterwards, he took a job at Royal Dutch Shell and spent most of his time abroad flying around in a company - owned Percival Proctor and later a Miles Gemini. Douglas Bader became Managing Director of Shell Aircraft until he retired in 1969. He campaigned for the disabled and in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1976 was appointed a Knight Bachelor ’ for services to disabled people ’. Douglas Bader continued to fly until ill health forced him to stop in 1979.
( source : Wikipedia )