Clipped Wings, Cpl Peter Walker’s Illustrated Diary of his RAF Service in India & Burma 1942-1946

With the huge number of histories of WWII, a truly unique book is extremely rare. This is one such book. The author has assembled a diary written by her late father, a collection of his photographs, and a collection of family letters, which she has woven into an enchanting book that tells a unique story – Most Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Clipped Wings, Cpl Peter Walker's Illustrated Diary of his RAF 
Service in India & Burma 1942-1946
FILE: R2586
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Dent
PUBLISHER: WritersWorld
BINDING: hard back, soft back, eBook
PAGES:  330
PRICE: £24.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, Far East, 
India, Burma, 1942, 1946, Japan, aviation, ground crew, biplanes, 
obsolete warplanes, obsolescent warplanes.

ISBN: 978-0-9955810-1-2

IMAGE: B2586.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ya8aowm5
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: With the huge number of histories of WWII, a truly 
unique book is extremely rare. This is one such book.  The author 
has assembled a diary written by her late father, a collection of 
his photographs, and a collection of family letters, which she has 
woven into an enchanting book that tells a unique story – Most Highly 
Recommended.

This is a very welcome addition to our available knowledge of WWII, 
particularly of the conflict in the Far East. It reads very well and 
flows nicely with an original style that blends groups of information 
sources seamlessly. The backbone is a diary, written by the author's 
father. It is supported very well by a large selection of photographs 
taken by him. The result is that the illustration is almost totally 
unique to this book, just a few of the photographs having been 
provided by another author who was writing a history of 31 Squadron, 
“A Goldstar Century – 31 Squadron 1915-2015”. This means that serious 
aviation enthusiasts will want to own a copy for its rare information 
and illustration. It will also appeal to a very much wider readership 
because it tells a very human story with affection and provides a 
tribute to all of those who served in the 'Forgotten War'.

The preoccupation with the exploits of pilots and aircrew frequently 
neglects the story of all of those who were vital team players, 
getting the aircraft ready for combat. Without their efforts there 
would have been no flying aces. When many thousands of young men 
volunteered to fight for the air forces involved, the overwhelming 
majority hoped to become dashing fighter pilots. Those who completed 
their training as pilots and were assigned to bombers, transports or 
maritime patrol aircraft often felt cheated. The most highly 
decorated German soldier of WWII was most disappointed to be assigned 
to fly Stukas. He was not considered a good pilot at the time and 
failed to impress his first commanding officer. Then he was sent on 
the invasion of the Soviet Union and discovered a great skill, 
particularly in killing tanks, but at heart he was still a frustrated 
fighter pilot. Many in his position never broke out in the way he did. 
Equally, a great many pilots were taken off flying duties because they 
were found to have a medical issue which had previously gone 
unnoticed. Some also qualified but arrived for posting at a time when 
there was a surplus of pilots but a great shortage of some other non-
flying skill. For these airmen it must have come as a great 
disappointment, it usually denied them the path to senior rank, but 
it often increased their chances of survival.

The subject of this book was demoted from pilot to mechanic because 
he was found to suffer from colour blindness. As his diary shows, he 
quickly adapted and served capably in his new task. His posting to 
India and Burma provides some unique insight into life there and the 
nature of the air forces available in that theatre. The author has 
included a section listing the aircraft he worked on, with brief 
descriptions. This is particularly helpful because there will be 
readers who have not previously come across some of the antique 
machines on which the RAF was forced to depend.

In 1939, the RAF East of Suez was essentially a biplane air force. 
It was equipped with fighters, bombers and army cooperation aircraft 
that showed little advance on the machines the RAF inherited in 1918 
from the RNAS and the RFC. They were open cockpit single and two seat 
machines with two or three rifle calibre machine guns, simple bomb 
aiming equipment and a very small bomb load. Radio communication was 
rare and there was no command and control system, even covering the 
Indian border. This situation was to continue after Japan attacked 
with up-to-date monoplane fighters and bombers. Britain was forced to 
reserve its best warplanes for the European War and to  rotate older 
designs to the Mediterranean and then on to India and Burma. The ground 
crews had to work hard in primitive conditions to keep these obsolete 
and obsolescent aircraft flying. The pilots needed real skill to squeeze 
every once of ability from the machines when flying against modern 
Japanese aircraft and performed amazingly well. It was quite late in 
the war that the Far East eventually began to receive potent modern 
aircraft. Even then, the Hurricane, which had long become obsolescent 
in Europe continued to fly as a fighter and ground attack aircraft. 
After VE Day, quantities of the best aircraft were released from Europe 
and speeded the retreat and surrender of Japanese aircraft.

The family letters provide so many details that readers may not be 
familiar with and one novelty may be the references of the subject 
sending food and clothing parcels home. In most WWII histories, it was 
family parcels going out to those fighting to make their life more 
comfortable. This is part of the unique environment for soldiers and 
airmen in India. Conditions could be very harsh and primitive at air 
stations and in the fighting, but India itself provided a huge range of 
conditions with much for the tourist back from the front, freedom from 
air attack and a plentiful supply of many things that had long since 
ceased to be available in rationed Britain.

Readers are advised to look at the available formats for this book. 
Some distributors may carry all formats but prices will vary. Most books 
that are reviewed by the FIRE Project review team are supplied from large, 
well established publishers and that allows our reviewers some short cuts 
because many readers will today buy directly from the publishers' on-line 
bookshops. Therefore, we include all details for the review copy that we 
have received, knowing that the reader will see all of the other options 
and special offers for the reviewed title. In this case, the book has been 
produced very nicely by one of the established on-demand-printing 
publishers. Accordingly, we show, in the database detail, only the price as 
an rrp for the hard back edition. The hyperlink runs to Amazon Books UK, 
showing Amazon options and pricing. The book will however be available in 
good bookshops and via a variety of on-line distributors.