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Sherlock's Squadron - The Incredible True Story of the Unsung Heroes of World War Two [Kindle Edition]

Steve Holmes
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

John Holmes was a schoolboy when World War II broke out in 1939, but even he jknew his destiny lay in the skies. ‘Boys from these parts don’t join the RAF’, he was told on more than one occasion. But they were wrong.

After many months undergoing selection and training he eventually made it into the air crew of 196 squadron. It was there he embarked on a love affair with the Stirling Bomber, and it was there that he met up with his crew – his brothers in arms.

With in-depth research, Steve Holmes’ inspirational, harrowing and at times humorous book charts the wartime exploits of his father, John ‘Sherlock’ Holmes, and his flight crew. Through many hours of research and contact with living relatives of ‘Sherlock’s Squadron;’ Steve has pulled together a unique and personal insight into the most brutal and devastating armed conflict in history.

Verified and independently confirmed by the MOD, War Office, Bomber Command and preserve navigators’ records and pilots’ log books of the time, this is a comprehensive and compelling account of World War II from the eyes of a group of young RAF men from distant corners of the globe.

Product Description

About the Author

It took fifteen years to complete this book in memory of my late father Flight Engineer John Holmes and his comrades who flew with him and those on the ground who supported them. My father was fascinated by aircraft from a young age and I suppose as a chip off the old block I followed suit. It was when I discovered his exact role in World War II that I concentrated on and fell in love with the aircraft he flew twenty four sorties in, The Stirling. My father never talked too much about the war and 196 Squadron or the brave men he came into contact with. I wish he had because I've spent literally thousands of hours on research, read over a hundred books and called upon the personal memories from the daughters and sons and nieces and nephews of those great men who are sadly no longer with us. Steve Holmes

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1335 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake (16 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,241 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, as a retired RAF navigator, I found this story a bit unconvincing. The book has been written by the youngest son of 'Sherlock' and, it seems, from having had scant conversation with his father about his wartime experiences. The author admits early on that he has used a fair amount of poetic licence and has included characters in his tale who he has assumed that 'my father must have met'! The tale, whilst interesting and real, lacks authenticity because it is written in a fictional style where the author regularly uses the first person in reported speech and includes conversations that he must have imagined took place rather than having words quoted to him by the actual participants (most of whom, including his father 'Sherlock', were dead at the time of writing). He also has failed to research fully the aspects of aviation that would appeal to a purchaser of the book. For example, he refers to the altitude needle rather than to the altimeter which would have been common language to those about whom he is writing.

This is definitely NOT 'The Incredible True Story of the Unsung Heroes of World War Two' but it is an enjoyable account of the life of the Stirling Bomber crews of 196 Sqn - if you are prepared to accept that it has been written with the admiration of a son of his father's wartime experience and written in a somewhat fictional style and without too much first-hand knowledge or in-depth research having taken place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHERLOCK'S SQUADRON 18 Aug. 2013
An absolute fantastic read. Took you to if you where actually there. An incredible insight of what these men went through. Opened my eyes , as it says an untold story, a story of the bomber crews other functions as transporters and glider tugs. Warm, Gritty and some times humorous, couldn't put it down. A must for anyone who likes WWII or aviation books
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave Idea! 25 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A valiant attempt at personalising the war experience of the author's father which did not really work for me. I was drawn to purchase it as it describes the Stirling, surely the most risky of the British heavy bombers to operate and very much in the shadow of the Lanc. Found the description of operations moving and serves a purpose of paying respects to very brave young men.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sterling's Squadron 17 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great reading glad we met Steve at restaurant just outside Benidorm last March. Glad to see your dad made it though ok .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sterling's Squadron 16 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this book. Instead of concentrating on the experiences of Holmes the author tries to cover it all. Even including conversations of Hitler with his generals. It doesn't work and I nearly didn't finish the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good tale with a few silly mistakes. 22 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a nice readable tale, but there are a few classic blunders.
First off, the character is going home on leave to Lancaster - behind a Thompson A1 steam engine of the East coast line! Lancaster would have been LMS, and they didn't have Thompson's engines!

Second, he has the crew of his Sterling chattering to each other via RADIO - nope, it would have been via intercom.

And the third one I spotted, the various aircraft in the squadron were chattering to each other, whilst en-route to the target in Germany. No way. Strict radio silence was maintained, so the Luftwaffe couldn't direction-find them, and work out how many aircraft were involved in the raid!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor! 13 Nov. 2014
By Athers
Format:Kindle Edition
I am afraid this is one of the most poorly researched books I have ever read. Another reviewer has pointed out some errors; believe me, that is a kind review - the errors are numerous. I fully laud the desire that the author has to respect the memory of his brave father, but if a book is to be published claiming to be an 'incredible true story' then it should stick (largely) to the truth. I do not like writing negative reviews, however I care more for the memory of those who served in 'heavies' during the war. They deserve for their story to be told well - this book is a long way short of that aspiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read I ages 11 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down , I personally feel like I knew the crew. Sherlock and the rest of the crew were like a family ,and looked out for each other . And the way Sherlock adopted patch made my heart swell with happiness as patch adored him.I'm pleased he had a happy home with Sherlock and his family after the war .This book tears at your heart strings as the crew go through all those dangerous missions and lots of there friends went missing or died after getting shot down .At the end I suppose they were the lucky ones .God bless them !
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