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A brilliantly vivid Second World War memoir by one of 'the Few' Spitfire fighter pilots. Following the D-Day landings, Battle of Britain hero Tom Neil was assigned as an RAF liaison to an American fighter squadron. As the Allies pushed east, Neil commandeered an abandoned Spitfire as his own personal aeroplane. Erasing any evidence of its provenance and stripping it down to bare metal, it became the RAF's only silver Spitfire. Alongside his US comrades, he took the silver Spitfire into battle until, with the war's end, he was forced to make a difficult decision. Faced with too many questions about the mysterious rogue fighter, he contemplated increasingly desperate measures to offload it, including bailing out mid-Channel. He eventually left the Spitfire at Worthy Down, never to be seen again. THE SILVER SPITFIRE is the first-hand, gripping story of Neil's heroic experience as an RAF fighter pilot and his reminiscences with his very own personal Spitfire.
This is the thrilling account of the last remaining Battle of Britain ace fighter pilot, Tom Ginger Neil. Neil was one of an elite band, nicknamed The Few by Winston Churchill, he flew Hurricanes during 141 combat missions in that battle and went on to command the first Spitfire XII squadron during 1942/43 as the RAF went on the offensive in north-west Europe.In this, the only full account of Neil's life to be published in collaboration with his family, we learn how he became a poster boy for the war effort and how he credits his sixth sense for keeping him alive during the Second World War.There was, however, one terrifyingly close brush with death, when in 1940 he had a mid-air collision with another Hurricane. With the rear section of his aircraft gone, the plane was out of control and hurtling to the ground, yet somehow he managed to bail out and miraculously survived with only a minor leg injury.As well as RAF service during the Siege of Malta, Wing Commander Neil, who is now in his late nineties, also served with the Americans during the D-Day landings.During his career, Neil was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses for the destruction of at least fourteen enemy aircraft, and was a successful test pilot after the war before commanding a jet fighter-reconnaissance squadron in Egypt's troubled Canal Zone during the 1950s for which he was awarded the Air Force Cross.With contributions from the man himself, this book also looks at his life after the RAF and his career as a successful author. For military buffs and novices alike, it is a must-read account of a true war hero.
Major Leif Lundsten flew hundreds of Spitfires during the Second World War. As a fighter pilot with 331 Squadron and test pilot with Vickers-Armstrong, he strapped on as many as seven different marks of Spitfires. All the way from the early mark II up to the rare, brutal XII version. Following Lundsten s career as a fighter pilot through the War, all the Spitfires he flew are covered in this book along with descriptions of his sorties. Behind every Spitfire there is a story to be told. Stories of brave heroism, tragic deaths or determined resilience. Many of the Spitfires disappeared quickly, shot down by Luftwaffe fighters. Others lived longer than our hero did, and still exist today, becoming legendary Spitfires on their own. The author pays tribute to a forgotten Spitfire hero, a gallant and brave man that did his country proud. Time and time again Leif Lundsten took a Spitfire to the air, whether it was an air-test or to meet the Luftwaffe in a dogfight over the channel. He never lived to tell his story, but the stories of the Spitfires he flew remains. This is Leif Lundsten s legacy.
The Little Book of Aviation is a collection of facts, figures and interesting stories from the world of flight. Sad, humorous, baffling and astounding stories abound, from the pioneering days of the Wright Brothers to the present day, and covering everything from great milestones, famous names who’ve served, and the greatest of aircraft icons; phantom pilots and aircraft and a glossary of slang; the origins of plane-spotting and unusual aircraft names; great feats and enduring mysteries; lucky escapes and great aircraft in the movies... the trivia is limitless and will appeal to everyone, whether you want help telling your Spitfire from your Messerschmitt or you know a Spitfire I from a Spitfire II!
A sleepy house in post-war Britain, a happy one-parent family...but when a retired Naval Officer brings home a new wife, things look anything but shipshape. Set in the romantic Northumbrian countryside during the heady days of the 1960s, this heartwarming story of love, acceptance and forgiveness is told with honesty and humour.
Maureen Howard deepens her inquiry into the meeting place of history and family in this stunning and accessible novel. Isabel Murphy renounced silent-film stardom to raise a family in Rhode Island. Now she is dead at 90 and her children are trying to break free of the lives she has dealt them. Joe, a Jesuit priest, has failed at love and the healing of souls. Stodgy Rita has found late happiness with a gangster who has turned state’s evidence. And Gemma, Isabel’s honorary child, has grown up to experience a strange celebrity as a photographer. A darkly comic story of guilt, love, and forgiveness, The Silver Screen is luminous in its intelligence and empathy.

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