The Royal Air Force in American Skies

The Royal Air Force in American Skies PDF Author: Tom Killebrew
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
ISBN: 1574416154
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 460

Book Description
By early 1941, the war raged in Europe and Great Britain stood alone against the aerial might of Nazi Germany. Although much of the Royal Air Force's pilot training program had been relocated to Canada and other Dominion countries, the need for pilots remained acute. The British looked to the United States for possible assistance. Passage of the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941 allowed for the training of British pilots in the United States and the formation of British Flying Training Schools. These unique schools were owned by American operators, staffed with American civilian instructors, supervised by British Royal Air Force officers, utilized aircraft supplied by the U.S. Army Air Corps, and used the RAF training syllabus. Within these pages, Tom Killebrew provides the first comprehensive history of all seven British Flying Training Schools located in Terrell, Texas; Lancaster, California; Miami, Oklahoma; Mesa, Arizona; Clewiston, Florida; Ponca City, Oklahoma; and Sweetwater, Texas. The first British students arrived in a still-neutral United States in June 1941. Many had never been in an airplane (or even driven an automobile), but they mastered the elements of flight, attended ground school classes, were introduced to the mysteries of the Link trainer and instrument flight, and then ventured out on cross country exercises. Students began night flying with the natural apprehension associated with taking off into a black sky, aided by only a few instruments, a flickering flare path, and limited ground references. Some students failed the periodic check flights and had to be eliminated from training, while others were killed during mishaps and are buried in local cemeteries. Those who finished the course became Royal Air Force pilots. But the story of the British Flying Training Schools is more than the story of young men learning to fly. These young British students would also forge a strong and long-lasting bond of friendship with the Americans they came to know. This bond would last not only during training, but would continue throughout the war, and still exist long after the end of the war.

The Royal Air Force in Texas

The Royal Air Force in Texas PDF Author: Tom Killebrew
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
ISBN: 1574411691
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 209

Book Description
With the outbreak of World War II, British RAF officials sought to train aircrews outside of England, safe from enemy attack and poor weather. In the USA, six civilian flight schools dedicated themselves to instructing RAF pilots. Tom Killebrew explores the history of the Terrell Aviation School.

Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes PDF Author: Sherri Greene Ottis
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813147980
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 248

Book Description
In the early years of World War II, it was an amazing feat for an Allied airman shot down over occupied Europe to make it back to England. By 1943, however, pilots and crewmembers, supplied with "escape kits," knew they had a 50 percent chance of evading capture and returning home. An estimated 12,000 French civilians helped make this possible. More than 5,000 airmen, many of them American, successfully traveled along escape lines organized much like those of the U.S. Underground Railroad, using secret codes and stopping in safe houses. If caught, they risked internment in a POW camp. But the French, Belgian, and Dutch civilians who aided them risked torture and even death. Sherri Ottis writes candidly about the pilots and crewmen who walked out of occupied Europe, as well as the British intelligence agency in charge of Escape and Evasion. But her main focus is on the helpers, those patriots who have been all but ignored in English-language books and journals. To research their stories, Ottis hiked the Pyrenees and interviewed many of the survivors. She tells of the extreme difficulty they had in avoiding Nazi infiltration by double agents; of their creativity in hiding evaders in their homes, sometimes in the midst of unexpected searches; of their generosity in sharing their meager food supplies during wartime; and of their unflagging spirit and courage in the face of a war fought on a very personal level.

Battle of Britain Broadcaster

Battle of Britain Broadcaster PDF Author: Robert Gardner
Publisher: Pen and Sword
ISBN: 1526746883
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 323

Book Description
“The unique story of a radio broadcasting pioneer and war correspondent, told with affection by his son.” —Firetrench With the outbreak of World War II, Charles Gardner became one of the first BBC war correspondents and was posted to France to cover the RAF’s AASF (Advanced Air Strike Force). He made numerous broadcasts interviewing many fighter pilots after engagements with the Germans and recalling stories of raids, bomb attacks and eventually the Blitzkrieg when they all were evacuated from France. In late 1940 he was commissioned in the RAF as a pilot and flew Catalina flying boats of Coastal Command. After support missions over the Atlantic protecting supply convoys from America, his squadron was deployed to Ceylon which was under threat from the Japanese navy. Gardner was later recruited by Lord Mountbatten, to help report the exploits of the British 14th Army in Burma. He both broadcast and filed countless reports of their astonishing bravery in beating the Japanese in jungle conditions and monsoon weather. After the war, Gardner became the BBC air correspondent from 1946-1953. As such, he became known as “The Voice of the Air,” witnessing and recording the greatest days in British aviation history. But perhaps he will best be remembered for his 1940 eye-witness account of an air battle over the English Channel when German dive bombers unsuccessfully attacked a British convoy but were driven off by RAF fighters. That broadcast is still played frequently today.

Douglas Bader

Douglas Bader PDF Author: John Frayn Turner
Publisher: Pen and Sword
ISBN: 1526736152
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 382

Book Description
Douglas Bader was a legend in his lifetime and remains one today 100 years after his birth. A charismatic leader and fearless pilot he refused to let his severe disability (loss of both legs in a flying accident) ground him. He fought the authorities as ruthless as he did the enemy and not only managed to return to the front line but became a top scoring ace. His innovative tactics (The Big Wing) ensured his promotion and he led a key group of squadrons during the dark days of the Battle of Britain.His luck ran out when he was shot down and captured; he only escaped his burning fighter by cutting away one of his artificial legs. As a POW he was a thorn in the Germans side and he was sent to Colditz Castle. As this perceptive book reveals Bader, the hero, was at times a difficult overbearing man, no doubt in part due to the pain he suffered. But his strengths far outweighed his weaknesses and his place in the annuals of British history is secure.This is a timely republication of an important biography.

Airmen in Exile

Airmen in Exile PDF Author: Alan Brown
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : World War, 1939-1945
Languages : en
Pages : 242

Book Description

The British Airman of the Second World War

The British Airman of the Second World War PDF Author: Stuart Hadaway
Publisher: Shire Publications
ISBN: 9780747812227
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 0

Book Description
This title will provide an introduction to the extraordinary range of conditions and challenges experienced by British airmen during the Second World War. The airman of the Royal Air Force served in every corner of the globe during this conflict, operating over oceans and deserts, jungles and cities. Rather than take the usual route of defining operations and crews by the types of aircraft used, the author examines what it meant for the young men who had to fly those aircraft and undertake those operations, and what their lives were like on the ground. The knowledge needed and tasks performed by them differed immensely - even within the same aircraft, the skill-sets of each member of the crew could differ to the extent of incomprehensibility to the others. All were vital. Each airman had his own view of the war, both in the air and on the ground. Personal testimony will provide insight into the experiences of those who served.

Fighter Pilot

Fighter Pilot PDF Author: William R. Dunn
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813146100
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Languages : en
Pages : 345

Book Description
This WWII fighter pilot memoir recounts the author’s many exploits as a flying ace during WWII in the Normandy invasions, the Battle for France and beyond. Born in Minneapolis in 1916, William R. Dunn decided to become a fighter pilot at the age of twelve. In 1939 he joined the Canadian Army and was soon transferred to the Royal Air Force. As part of the RAF’s famous Eagle Squadron, Dunn was sent to Europe to fight in the Second World War. Flying Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires, he was the first Eagle Squadron pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft. When he later transferred to the US Army Air Forces, he became the first American ace of the war. Lieutenant Colonel Dunn saw action in the Normandy invasion and in Patton's sweep across France. Twenty years later he fought again in Vietnam. In this lively memoir, Dunn keenly conveys the fighter pilot's experience of war—the tension of combat, the love of aircraft, the elation of victory, the boisterous comradeship and competition of the pilot brotherhood.

56th Fighter Group

56th Fighter Group PDF Author: Roger Freeman
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781841760476
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 0

Book Description
One of the first Thunderbolt groups to see action in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) with the US Army Air Forces, the 56th Fighter Group (FG) was also the only fighter unit within the Eighth Air Force to remain equipped with the mighty P-47 until war's end. Led by the inspirational 'Hub' Zemke, this group was responsible for devising many of the bomber escort tactics employed by VIII Fighter Command between 1943 and 1945. By VE-Day the 56th FG had shot down 100 more enemy aircraft than any other group in the Eighth Air Force, its pilots being credited with 677 kills during 447 missions. The exploits of this elite fighter unit are detailed in this volume together with photographs, their aircraft profiles and insignia.
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