The definitive story of the Battle of Britain : The Narrow Margin
Derek Wood ( 1930 - May 2nd, 2003 ) joined the Royal Observer Corps ( R.O.C. ) in 1947, and served on posts near Chichester, London, and at Cuckfield ( north of Brighton, England ) after moving there in the 1960's.
As a journalist and aerospace expert, he did his utmost to further the Corps' standing in both military and civil areas. In the late 1950's, the aircraft reporting role was being phased out and the R.O.C. became the field force of the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation ( U.K.W.M.O. ) run by the Home Office.
In the Sixties the Home Office was quietly planning to sever the Corps' link with the RAF, take it out of uniform, and completely integrate it within U.K.W.M.O. Derek Wood got wind of this and, as aviation correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph, wrote an article warning that if such a plan was implemented it was likely that at least 80 percent of Corps would resign. The Home Office was furious and demanded that the Commandant, Air Commodore Jeaffreson H. Gresswell ( 1916 - 2000 ), remove Derek Wood from the Corps immediately. Fortunately, Gresswell refused to do so. The plan was quietly dropped and Derek Wood went on to serve the Corps for many more years.
Derek Wood came into prominence as an author when his book The Narrow Margin ( 1961 ). Others of his books include Attack Warning Red ( 1976 ), Jane's World Aircraft Recognition Handbook ( 1979 ) and Project Cancelled ( 1986 ). In 1983, Derek Wood started the magazine called Jane's Defence Weekly, and retired in 1993.
( sources : Wikipedia, www.amazon.fr )