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Target for Tonight: A Pilot's Memoirs of Flying Long-range Reconnaissance and Pathfinder Missions in World War II Hardcover – Mar 2005


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Target for Tonight: A Pilot's Memoirs of Flying Long-range Reconnaissance and Pathfinder Missions in World War II + The Last Torpedo Flyers: The True Story of Arthur Aldridge, Hero of the Skies
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leo Cooper Ltd (Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184415159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844151592
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael David Booker on 1 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Under normal circumstances, an under-graduate joining the Royal Auxiliary Air Force would not have warranted the publication of a book, however as this was 1939, it was therefore a very different matter and the events of that summer resulted in what was perceived at that time to be a "weekend flying club", becoming a fully operational Royal Air Force squadron.

This excellent recently published volume records the exceptional wartime experiences of Denys Braithwaite. This young man from a prosperous Yorkshire family who was studying at Cambridge University when war broke out, quickly found himself "in for the duration" and was soon flying with 608 Squadron on coastal patrol duties around the British Isles. This initial relatively uneventful period was followed by hazardous tours of duty with 521,139 and 45 squadrons. Piloting the famous Blenheim, Gloster Gladiator and Mosquito aircraft, he flew on a wide range of missions, that included both short and long range meteorological and reconnaissance flights as well as many daring Pathfinder operations deep into enemy territory. His remarkable wartime duties took him far and wide, operational tours around the coast of the UK and occupied Europe, pre-ceded training duties in the U.S.A., before he finally took command of a fully operational squadron based in India - flying on operations against the Japanese in Burma.

As one can imagine, Denys lost many of his colleagues and friends whilst on active service during the dark years of the Second World War, however he survived, despite being involved in several major crashes and was decorated by Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) with the D.F.C. and Bar. He lived a long and active life and thus was able to tell his remarkable story in this superb book, which I am sure, will fascinate a wide audience of readers from the aviation and military historian to the layman alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew James on 26 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having thoroughly enjoyed Focus on Europe: A Photo-Reconnaissance Mosquito Pilot at War, 1943-45 I thought I'd like this book too and I wasn't wrong. It reads like a good novel in the easy fashion it is written and it is one of the finest books of this genre I've read so far. Thoroughly entertaining and packed with stories, some funny, some sad, some boys own adventure, the author writes in an understated manner that makes it a joy to read. The description of of his missions are rich in detail and full of incidents and you can't help but really like the guy. He carried out many and varied operations in meteorology and reconnaissance, then pathfinder missions deep into Germany and then out to India to fight against the Japanese.

Not only is the book a good read, but it is also full of interesting stuff. I didn't realise the importance of meteorology to the success of both the RAF and the Americans during the war until I read this book and I didn't realise the fantastic job they carried out flying in all weathers whenever called upon. The author survived some fairly monumental crashes and these are illustrated with photographs taken of the wrecks. One of them occurred whilst flying a Gloster Gladiator in thick fog and his description of the incident is both amusing and exciting.

Denys Braithwaite was a real hero and a thoroughly nice chap. The story of his rise through the ranks is enthralling and I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I HAVEN'T FINISHED THE BOOK YET, BUT SO FAR ITS 'A GOOD READ'. MIND YOU, I'M A SUCKER FOR WW2 'AIRCRAFT STORIES', FACT OR FICTION.

REGARDS,

WJD
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By kenneth bennett on 19 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent account of wartime memoirs.
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By Mr. D. Kinsey on 11 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it
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