Flightpath To Murder, Death of a Pilot Officer

R1560
This is an interesting book that may prove hard going not because of
the author's style but because of the relentless process to uncover
crime and the grim nature of the events on the ground and the crime
itself.
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NAME: Flightpath To Murder, Death of a Pilot Officer

CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1560
DATE: 061009
AUTHOR: Steve Darlow
PUBLISHER: Haynes
BINDING: Hard back
PAGES: 274
PRICE: GB £19.99
GENRE: Non fiction
SUBJECT: 
ISBN: 979-1-84425-541-2
IMAGE: B1560.jpg
LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/ 
DESCRIPTION: This is an interesting book that may prove hard going 
not because of the author's style but because of the relentless 
process to uncover crime and the grim nature of the events on the 
ground and the crime itself. Although the general subject is World 
War Two aviation and the publisher has listed the title accordingly,
this is a book that will also appeal to those interested in crime 
and forensic investigation. As book shops will probably bury copies 
away in the aviation or war shelves, some of those who would find 
the book particularly interesting and useful may stumble on it by 
accident and this is always the difficulty with books that do not 
fit into the expectations of bookshops. The author has researched 
his subject very well and presented the story in an engaging manner. 
There is a black and white photographic plate section to illustrate 
the story. The images some especially evocative are of good quality 
and reproduced clearly on gloss paper. Generally the air war in Europe
between 1939 and 1945 was remarkably free of war crimes against 
aircrew. Even when a pilot force landed or parachuted down close to 
a gun battery with which he had been engaging fire, he was taken 
prisoner and treated according to the conventions of war. The situation
may have been less civilized on the Eastern Front where German and 
Russian soldiers did beat up or kill downed pilots with some frequency,
and in the Far East, the Japanese frequently tortured and killed downed
aircrew, or treated them barbarically in POW camps. Against this 
background the killing of RAAF strike fighter pilot Bill Maloney is 
a sad and rare exception to the treatment of a downed pilot. The 
author sets out the background of the pilot and the details of his 
last flight. Beyond that, the story is essentially an account of how 
the murder was investigated some ten months after the event as part 
of the process of bringing war criminals to account. It brings into 
focus the attitudes of those on the receiving end of airpower. By 1944
the Allied Air Forces held air superiority and could fly almost at 
will. The German defending pilots continued a spirited defence of 
the Fatherland but numbers and resources were against them. As a 
result Typhoon pilots like Bill Maloney could range across the 
battlefield ahead of advancing troops and provide detailed close 
support using canon and rockets with devastating effect. The tale is 
a reminder that one nation's hero pilot may be another nation's terror
flyer.

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