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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
90


on 21 October 2017
I didn't want to put it down. This is a fascinating book written by a very brave young men. He tells it how it is. You will read of thrills, excitement, wild behaviour in the mess, pain, stress and the tragic, frequent loss of friends and colleagues. This book made me both laugh and cry. Such young men gave so much and David Crook wrote about it from his viewpoint. Its a great story.
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on 10 October 2017
Very good
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on 18 October 2014
It's a good read. It's published from the late-author's diary and covers his life up to shortly after the war.
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on 12 March 2017
Good read and informative of a pilots account of one of the key airbattles in ww2 which changed the war
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on 9 May 2016
Enjoyed reading David Crooks personal account of his flying at the start of WW2. I would recommend this to anyone.
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on 18 June 2009
David Crook's "Spitfire Pilot" has deservedly been republished so that a new generation of readers can enjoy his fine memoir. This is an engaging read and Crook's likeable personality is apparent throughout. "Spitfire Pilot" is a great look at the life of a Battle of Britain pilot, with expert descriptions of the exhilaration and terror of air combat, the sadness of loss, and all aspects of life of an active fighter pilot at this pivotal point of British history. A great read and one which will be enjoyed by aviation enthusiasts and the curious alike.
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on 4 July 2017
good read
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on 16 August 2014
I came across a second-hand copy of the original wartime edition many years ago, and treasured it.
As other reviewers have briefly noted, this is a clear account of some of the fighting during the Battle of Britain by one of the Few.
As far as I am aware, David Crook was later killed in action.
What the other reviewers do not mention is that this book was a companion volume to others in a series that were specially commissioned during World War II.
I believe that some experienced service men were given special leave, while assigned the task of writing about their combat experiences.
Leonard Cheshire was taken off flying duties after completing a tour of operations flying Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley twin-engine bombers, and another tour flying Handley-Page Halifax four-engine bombers.
He wrote "Bomber Pilot".
His tail-gunner was also set the task of writing, and the result was "Tail Gunner".
(Later, of course, Cheshire commanded the famous 617 Squadron known as "The Dam Busters", and later still was an observer at the bombing of Nagasaki, and became a major charity worker.)
Similarly, Guy Gibson, after the success of the Dam Busting raid with 671 Squadron, was taken of active duties and wrote "Enemy Coast Ahead", which outlined his experiences leading up to the Dams raid, Operation Chastise.
Also, Ginger Lacey wrote "Hurricane Pilot".
(On his own initiative, rather than as an official assignment, Richard Hillary wrote "The Last Enemy", his story of his university days, experiences as a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain, and the consequences of plastic surgery after being shot down in a burning plane.)
These authors are the prose counterpart to Official War Artists, and give personal insight into the Official Histories.
John Gough - Deakin University (retired) - jagough49@gmail.com
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on 27 March 2009
By the time of his death in action later in the war, David Crook was credited with 12 confirmed victories. His book is evocative of the immediate period of the Battle of Britain. Not one of the better-known aces or Wing Leaders, Crook's book reads as a diary, though how he had the time or energy to do so at the time beggars belief. Basically it is the story 'from the cockpit' and reads all the better for it. I commend it to all serious students of the Battle of Britain.
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on 7 August 2010
I have read many accounts of Spitfire contribution to the war effort and have followed the history of the plane for many years (I am 83). This account is alive and written from a different perspective that is interesting and takes you to the battle zones. There are times when you feel you are in the cockpit as you read this diary.

Great piece of work and should be compulsory reading to all schoolchildren
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