160 pages - 1962 - Used, acceptable
Through this novel, the author depicts the almost unknown story of the Merchant Service Fighter Unit ( R.A.F. ), protecting convoys against German longe - range bombers.
|Book cover finish
||Offset varnish, Perfect paperback
|Number of pages
||11 x 18 x 1 cm
||KIMBER POCKET EDITION
Of all the strange, lonely and dangerous operations ever undertaken in war, those of the Merchant Service Fighter Unit of the R.A.F. were among the most unique.
The Unit was a very special one, called into being to meet a desperate emergency. Early in 1941, when the Germans had captured the entire Atlantic seaboard from the North Cape of Norway to the Bay of Biscay, there were grave fears that they would heavily increase attacks by big, long - range bombers on our merchant ships at sea in those areas beyond the range of Coastal Command, with no aircraft carriers available.
Following an idea of Mr. Churchill's, first the Navy, then the R.A.F., began operating single fighters from catapults mounted on merchant - type vessels. The Naval ships were manned and operated as bona - fide warships, but the R.A.F. fighters flew from ordinary cargo ships, called Catapult Aircraft Merchant Ships or Cam - ships, sailing in convoy and carrying out their normal business.
The pilot took off on a single ticket. Once catapulted he could not return to the ship. He must make his attack, then ditch or bale out and hope that one of the ships in his convoy would pick him up - very rarely was he in range of land.
The author writes in his Preface : " There were many voyages - far too many to describe with any justice in one book. So I have imagined a typical pilot of the Merchant Service Fighter Unit, my Pilot Officer John Short, and I have tried to encompass and symbolise in The Giant Killers the whole story of the Unit, their difficulties, dangers, fears - and the very great courage and skill with which they so triumphantly succeeded in the face of these. I hope I have succeeded, because I would like this story to be a tribute to them. "