‘Artie’ Bomber Command Legend

B2126

The publisher is establishing a reputation for bringing to print flying stories that inspire and deliver fresh insights. During WWII, Britain received strong support from young men across the Empire. They volunteered to come from across the globe to fight high in the skies above Europe, participating in the greatest air battles ever fought. ‘Artie’ Ashworth was to fly bombers before being posted to the Far East where he flew Corsair fighters and then continued in peacetime service, flying a wide selection of aircraft types. This is a unique book that includes reproductions of flying logs and is an absorbing read. Highly recommended!

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NAME: ‘Artie’ Bomber Command Legend
DATE: 110115
FILE: R2126
AUTHOR: Vincent A Ashworth
PUBLISHER: Fighting High
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 219
PRICE: £19.95
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, Bomber Command, strategic bombing, pathfinder, post-war RAF, flying logs, jet bombers, jet fighters, Corsairs, Canberra, Victor, Vampire, Meteor
ISBN: 978-0-99262-075-2
IMAGE: B2126.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/opnv4qh
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The publisher is establishing a reputation for bringing to print flying stories that inspire and deliver fresh insights. During WWII, Britain received strong support from young men across the Empire. They volunteered to come from across the globe to fight high in the skies above Europe, participating in the greatest air battles ever fought. ‘Artie’ Ashworth was to fly bombers before being posted to the Far East where he flew Corsair fighters and then continued in peacetime service, flying a wide selection of aircraft types. This is a unique book that includes reproductions of flying logs and is an absorbing read. Highly recommended!

There have been so many fine books, recounting the tales of the great air battles over Europe, the significance of air power in North Africa, and the air battles across the Pacific. Even so, there is still room for new insights and new treatment of the genre. This book is one of those valuable accounts that covers a series of important elements of the epic battles. It includes recognition of the 1,850 New Zealanders who accounted for one in every three to serve in RAF Bomber Command. Their outstanding contribution to final victory in Europe and in the Far East was all the more significant as a proportion of the New Zealand population. Many left their homeland for the first time to travel around the World to what most still considered the Home Country, but a country they had never seen before. When they arrived, they found a grey world of blackout and German terror bombing, a place of rationing and shortages and a population determined to fight for their survival and ultimate victory. New Zealanders served in the British Armed Forces and the pilots amongst them served in all RAF Commands, but it was in Bomber Command where they provided outstanding service against grim odds forming a percentage of aircrew far beyond the proportion of their home population.

‘Artie’s’ skill as a bomber pilot was to earn him a place in the elite Pathfinders. The RAF went to war without the heavy bombers required for strategic bombing. Many of the aircraft were obsolescent or obsolete. In the early stages, twin engine aircraft were the best available and slowly migrated from leaflet dropping to active bombing. They had to fly at night because they lacked long range fighter escorts and were relatively lightly armed with rifle calibre machine guns. Flying at night made the accurate dropping of bombs even more challenging and this was further affected by the lack of the type of bombing sight being introduced into USAAF service. Even as the four engine heavies came into service, the bomb sights still left much to be desired and very few bombs hit their intended targets.

The solution to the issue of bombing accuracy was to form elite groups of pathfinders who would fly ahead of the main bomber stream and light up the targets with coloured flares. This required the highest flying skill and often involved very low flying into the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ground and the attentions of night fighters, particularly on the way home.

‘Artie’ served in Europe before being posted to North Africa and ending his war service in the Far East, where he flew the fast Corsair fighter and ground attack aircraft. After the war he continued in service and flew the advanced Canberra jet bomber and the Victor nuclear bomber.

The text is very descriptive and an easy read, but it is very ably supported by many images. Extracts of log book pages, inserted through the body of text as photos, provide considerable information in a compact form, listing aircraft types flow and the number of flying hours. This shows the breadth of ‘Artie’s’ experience as a pilot and continues on into the jet age with a broad mix of jet types. There are some excellent images in a plate section that include photographs of ‘Artie’s’ early life in New Zealand

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