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Bomber Commander: Don Saville DSO, DFC - 'The Mad Australian: Don Saville DSO, DFC - "The Mad Australian" [Kindle Edition]

F Chappel
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Wing Commander Donald Teale Saville DSO, DFC joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1927. From 1932 until 1939 he flew and tested private aircraft, was a flying instructor and then a Captain-pilot with Australian National Airways. In 1936, at the age of 36 years, he volunteered for the RAF whilst on holiday in England. Because of his age he was posted to the Ferry Pool Service and eventually became its Commanding Officer. In 1941 he dropped rank from Squadron Leader to Flight Lieutenant to join Bomber Command, and in December of that year joined No 458 RAAF Squadron flying Wellington’s as a Flight Commander. In 1942 he was appointed to command another Wellington squadron, No 104, at Kabrit in Egypt. He was awarded the DFC for daring operations whilst flying from Malta against enemy airfields and ports. In March 1943 he took command of No 218 Squadron at Downham Market flying somewhat elderly Short Stirlings and at a time of intolerable losses. In July 1943 he went missing on the first mass bombing raid on Hamburg. He made the supreme sacrifice by holding his burning aircraft steady while four of his crew escaped by parachute.

He was known affectionately as 'The Mad Aussie' and was reputed to have flown 10,000 flying hours. He was fifteen or so years older than most of his aircrews and was probably the oldest pilot in Bomber Command. At the time of his loss he was in was on his third tour of operations.

This is the story of a man who carried leadership by example and was renowned as an exceptionally skilled, daring and confident aviator.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 503 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Aviation (19 Sept. 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true gentleman 6 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
fist class story of a first class gentleman,enjoyed every page,some sad and some light hearted ones.
his duty done now rest in peace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Saville 11 Dec. 2013
By Mick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sad story but true this is what happens when the human race tear each other apart. Excellent story fast moving and very interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well written 9 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
if you like semi auto biographicals you'll enjoy this well produced book about one of the undoubted hero's of bomber command.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life story of a brave and decent man 3 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What an Oddyssey a triumph this book is a salute to an accomplished airman who could have avoided his fate and had it easy during wartime. Instead he volunteered for Bomber Command and flew countless missions all over the Europe and North Africa leading the recruits who needed his kind of guidance and inspiration to keep going to the wars end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and well written 11 May 2014
By Andy L
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A comprehensive, detailed and well written biography of an extraordinary man. Written by somebody who knew and served with him it gives an insight into many aspects of the early 20th Century, sadly culminating in Don Saville's death over Hamburg in July 1943.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing 21 Jun. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the son of a former Lancaster Flight Engineer, I was looking forward to reading this book. While the book gave a lot of detail of Wing Commander Saville's activities a pilot and, given its title, a commander, I found the account a little cold. At times the text was a catalogue of bombing operations with casualty figures which may have given some context but did not add to the reader's knowledge of Saville the man. I accept that the book was written 40 years after the subject's death and contemporaries, and therefore anecdotes would be hard to come by. Clearly, Saville was a remarkably courageous man, pilot and leader, small in stature and fastidious about his appearance who liked a good time but other than that I didn't feel that I know much more about him. Sorry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bomer Command - Don Saville 21 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent read about one of the many fantastic heros in Bomber Command. These guys were something else, their courage night after night is just awe inspiring. Don was no exception! His family must be very proud.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but slow start. 2 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Overall this is worth a read, but it is very third person for the first 40% of the book (understandably as it's put together from Saville's logbooks). However, it does read very much as if you are reading his logbook, with little meat to fill in the detail at times.

There is no doubt that Saville was an excellent aviator, but this book was a little too much like a list of facts and for me personally, needed more personal aspects. It does get better when it gets to the point in his life where the author met him.

Worth a read, but a little limited in my opinion.
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