‘THE GREATEST SQUADRON OF THEM ALL’ : THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF 603 (CITY OF EDINBURGH) SQUADRON, RAUXAF : VOLUME I : FORMATION TO THE END OF 1940 ; VOLUME II : 1941 TO DATE.

Ross, David. & with Blanche, B. & Simpson, W.


£60.00




2 Volumes Complete, Grub Street, 1st eds., 2003. Vol. I : Xv + 384 pp., numerous photo-ills., + 3 maps. Vol. II : Xv + 416 pp., frontis., + numerous photo-ills., + 1 map. Both Vols. : D.j., 25 x 17cm. Small closed tear to d.j., on Vol. II o/w FINE. Both Vols., are Signed by the Authors David Ross and Bruce Blanche. Vol. I has also been Signed by a one time CO of 603 Squadron, Alasdair Beaton. This is a highly authoritative two-volume study of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RAuxAF, based on the Squadron archive, Public Record Office documents, letters, and diary and logbook entries. Volume One takes the reader through the early years of what was initially a bomber unit with its colourful characters, through the Phoney War, during which 603 destroyed the first enemy aircraft over British soil since World War I, and into the Battle of Britain. Here, extensive detail on the personnel involved is provided in the form of pen-portraits of each pilot, many of them fascinating characters who became household names, including amongst others, Richard Hillary, Gerald Stapleton, Black Morton, Rusty Rushmer and Bubble Waterston. The outstanding achievements of pilots and ground crew are presented as a day-by-day commentary and analysis which centres on the sacrifices made during those all too hectic days. Volume Two introduces new personalities of great character and covers the great variety of operations which 603 undertook after the Battle of Britain, and their pivotal role in taking the offensive to the enemy throughout 1941. The Squadron also played a vital part in the defence of war-torn Malta, which is recorded in great detail. There followed anti-shipping strikes by the Beaufighters of the unit before the return to England and Spitfires once again for operations mounted in support of bombers and against V2 launch sites. Post-war 603 Squadron returned to its auxiliary status and was re-equipped with Spitfires before converting to DH Vampire jets prior to disbandment in 1957. Happily reformed, the story ends with a description of the Squadron’s role in the modern-day Royal Auxiliary Air Force and specifically Operation Iraqi Freedom. In both volumes a wealth of photographs is included, most previously unpublished, and an exhaustive list of appendices unearths much new information. Both volumes are SIGNED by the AUTHORS, David Ross and Bruce Blanche. Volume I has also been SIGNED by a one time CO of 603 Squadron, Alasdair Beaton. TWO VOLUMES :


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