If you have the slightest interest in aviation since the 1930's this book will leave you open mouthed in awe at the incredible experiences of the author. No-one would have the audacity to write this as fiction for fear of it being branded "too far fetched!". If being taken for a flight by Ernst Udet before WW2 and watching Hanna Reitsch fly one of the first helicopters inside the Olympic stadium isn't enough, the author goes on to fly every major UK, US, German, Italian, Russian and Japanese aircraft of world war two before being at the very forefront of the jet age and conquering of the "Sound Barrier"....and all whilst being in our Navy! Written from his personal diaries, the style is humble and events put down to good fortune when I am sure they are really due to his skill.
The book can be frustratingly thin on subjects that deserve a book of their own (how many other allied pilots flew a Me163 rocket plane under power I wonder...) and it flits back and forth in time a little confusingly but these are minor quibbles. The book is heavy due to the high quality paper needed to support the small print size to cram it all in and if more detail were given it would extend to several volumes.
Just read it and revel as iconic aircraft and characters of the 40's ad 50's are met and summarized before moving onto the next encounter.
In a time when the term "hero" has become confused with "celebrity", here folks, is the real thing...