GLADIATOR ACE : BILL ‘CHERRY’ VALE, THE RAF’S FORGOTTEN FIGHTER ACE.

Cull, Brian.


£20.00




Haynes, 1st ed., 2010. 256 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Squadron Leader Bill ‘Cherry’ Vale DFC, AFC (1914-81) was one of the RAF’s top ten fighter aces of the Second World War. He fought the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica in the Western Desert in 1940 with 33 Squadron, flying Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters, but he gained many of his combat successes over Greece where he was shot down, briefly taken prisoner by the Italians but escaped with the help of Greek partisans. He flew his Hawker Hurricane to Crete where he operated virtually alone as ‘Hurricane Flight Crete’ and claimed a further 7 aircraft shot down to his already impressive score. He next went to Egypt where he fought Vichy French forces in the action against Syria. Bill was promoted to flight lieutenant and posted home to England in 1942 for instructing duties. He was now the holder of the DFC and Bar, and the Greek Air Force Cross, and his final score stood at 30 kills plus three shared. He left the RAF in October 1946.


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