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Fascinating first hand account,
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This review is from: Wing Leader: Top-scoring Allied Fighter Pilot of World War Two (Fighter pilots) (Paperback)
I've read a number of WW2 Fighter pilot memoirs and this doesn't disappoint. Johnson's style is no-nonsense - there's little florid description here or self analysis - rather it feels like it's been taken from flight journals and diaries (unsurprisingly) and then given some polish and charm. As the top-scoring Allied pilot in WW2 he's modest without being afraid to admit his desire to achieve the record. From everything I've read, shooting down a plane was an incredibly difficult thing to do just once - to manage 34 and survive more or less unscathed is utterly incredible. There are plenty of anecdotes and close shaves and yet doesn't pull punches when it comes to describing the horror of war.
It's also important to remind yourself how incredibly young these men were - Johnson finishes the war aged just 30 but as a highly decorated Group Captain with responsibility for numerous men. It's a degree of maturity and character hard to imagine now. I devoured this book and I suspect anyone with a fascination for the era will enjoy it as much as I did.