I guess that if you're reading this then you are already an afficianado of aviation history. In that case, you'll love it. The start is a bit prosey and dated, but once you're past the third chapter you will be so absorbed in the story that you won't notice. It's the standard story of a tour on bombers (mainly Stirlings which is interesting), but told in a unique style which will have you alternating between laughter and tears. The foreward contains a ringing endorsement from Bomber Harris, so I suppose that says it all. Enjoy.
This book covering Peden's service history gives a great overview not only of battle service but also training. The coverage here of the often overlooked British Commonwealth Air Training Plan gives the reader a look at how the air force produced the thousands of trained airmen required for the fight. Eminently readable, it also gives an inner look at relationships that developed between the aircrew members. I find myself quoting from this book whenever a discussion of bomber command comes up.
As an ex RAF serviceman; I appreciate the warmth and honesty and humour inside this well written book; So intersting I just could'nt put it down untill it was finished; It highlights the cost in lives of the Canadian service men, that toured with the RAF in those dark times; well done Murray!
Although it was written in the 1970's, Murray Peden's masterwork succeeds and survives to this day by giving us youngsters an insider's look at life as a front line WW2 bomber pilot.
Peden's book is so personal that you will shed many tears while reading it. When friends are lost, they are your own friends, from school or work or social circles. And when Peden's wry sense of humour shines through, you will laugh out loud at the crazy antics.
Books written this well are rare. Books written this well about war, even less so. Congratulations and thanks, Mr. Peden!
I'll start by saying that I'm both a history nut (though not unfortunately an historian) and an aviation nut. This is indeed a rare book. A very rare book for me because I read it, put it down then read it again. Although it was written a lifetime ago, I feel I can identify with all that this young man went through. It helps that we seem to share the same slightly daft and irreverent sense of humour. His words convey his sense of youthful fun, pride, joy and loss. Anyone who likes to read will get something from this amazing piece of work. I'll keep this short and say farewell, I'm off to pick at the best bits again. You can't say more than that can you?
I don't unfortunately have the vocabulary to describe just how much Mr Peden's description of his experiences of his life up to and including his service in WWII touched me. It describes in vivd detail his experiences in working towards and subsequently being a bomber pilot in the Second World War. In equal part unbearably sad and uproariously funny, it gives a real insight into one man's journey through one of the human race's darkest episodes. Beautifully written with exhaustive detail, but also warmth, humillty and modesty. An extraordinary book, and one I feel both privileged and utterly humbled to have read. I cannot recommend it enough.
I've enjoyed every single war memoir book I've purchased for my Kindle app, but this one must be the best. Murray describes all the trials and tribulations of qualifying to be a heavy bomber pilot, and the pressures of operational flying, but his command of English and his witty style of writing make it a cut above the rest. I'm glad I read it on my Kindle app equipped phone, this enabled me to touch the words I didn't understand and get an explanation from the built in dictionary, that's my failing, not Murray's. Buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
A story of Murrays career from entering the Canadian flying training program to flying covert spoofing and jamming missions for the RAF in B-17's this is another interesting and engaging book from a WW2 veteran outlining the great challenges that faced the men of bomber command but giving a peek behind that scenes of how the allies went about trying to foil german radar and laying false trails. A very interesting and human story from WW2, for anyone who is interested a very recommended read.
How I would love to hug this man and say thank you, I am free because of Murray and people like him many gave their lives for us, the book was a riveting read, tinged with sadness for those airmen who never made it back, and those so badly wounded their lives altered for ever. Buy it and read it and never lose sight what the cost of human endeavour was. I lived every flight with them, thank you from the bottom of my heart.