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on 24 April 2013
If you're into a lot of action in your autobiographies this book might not be for you. However, if you want to know what it was like to spend most of the war abroad, fighting in Africa, then Burma and finally Malaysia, then you'll enjoy this book. The author spent most of his RAF career living in awful conditions. He writes with an entertaining irreverence for higher command and is rightfully scathing about the desk jockeys who lived in comparative luxury whilst he and his fellow flyers had to live in tents surviving on bully beef and hard tack.

I found the author's style eminently readable, and although there isn't any real action until he reaches Burma, where he flew antiquated Hurribombers, he kept me engaged with his numerous stories about the places and people he met. As the book goes on he becomes more and more fatalistic and the last hundred pages or so see's many of his comrades die. He didn't celebrate VE day. Instead he climbed into his Hurribomber on a mission to bomb Japanese positions in the jungle. By the time VJ Day arrived he was depressed and scared, wondering what would become of him, a man born of war who knew only how to fly and kill.

A very good and moving book.
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on 23 May 2017
If you are looking for a book of action this is not it, similarly if you want a log book like diary you will not want this. What you get is the story of a young man who joins up in early 1941 and trains as a fighter pilot. As a sergeant he flies in North Africa and then various theatres eastwards. Whilst there are stories of sorties they are almost an adjunct to what he saw and felt until he returned to the UK five years later.

The style is easy and readable and draws you in. By the time he returns he is a different person and you have undertaken part of the journey with him.
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on 6 July 2017
I found the book enthralling, I was fascinated by the stories of the pilots training, the operations and the theatres of war. I can only imagine the desperate state that some of the men got in while in the Far East with the illnesses, the separation from loved ones and the incessant heat and humidity and I am not surprised that a few went mad. Highly recommend book for anyone who enjoys books focussed on World War 2 fighter/ground attack squadrons.
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on 30 May 2017
Not a gung-ho war story,but a very modest account of one man at war. I enjoyed it thoroughly as it is probably closer to the experiences of the majority of servicemen on active service than most accounts. Not all glory but lots of waiting around in poor conditions etc. However the author makes the whole experience entertaining to read.Thought provoking and well written !
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on 18 June 2017
This is much more than fighter pilot's story - it is a literary memoir in the tradition of Blunden's Undertones of War, utterly convincing and leaving a mark on one's soul. Read it to know something you cannot have known before, and to understand the emptiness of the end of war and the fighting soldier's fear of peace having emptied his soul. And be thankful and humble.
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on 16 June 2017
A modestly written account of the author's experiences in WW2. Whilst it does not detail the individual battles it gives a clear incite into the trauma and stress suffered, probably by all pilots in wartime. The author, somehow, manages to maintain his personal sensitivity throughout his many experiences of war and.
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on 10 October 2017
I have read many biographies of warriors And this is different from most. Not a book about ambition nor of gung-ho aggression. Such books have their place. I have read and enjoyed many but this work is a relation of the author's profound reverence for those who fought and died alongside him. Such deeper feelings are often omitted from other memoirs but this author has provided that insight alongside humour.

Highly recommended.
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on 20 August 2017
Very well written and so true of life and death. Brings the aspects of war to life in a way only a pilot can explain.
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on 15 September 2017
It always achieved to enthrall me in ever way imaginable. Even going in to the soul's of all involved. Read it and learn.
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on 14 June 2017
A VERY PERSONAL STORY ABOUT THE AIR WAR IN THE DESERT AND THE FAR EAST. THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE TALES OF WAR IN THE DESERT AIR FORCE BOTH WHEN ON ACTIVE SERVICE AND ON LEAVE.
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