Walpole, Group Captain Nigel.


Merlin Massara, 1st ed., 2007. Xvi + 285 pp., numerous photo-ills., + ills. D.j., 25 x 17cm. Traces of pencil note to f.f.e.p., o/w FINE. This is the story of a fighter squadron, No. 234, who began life with Seaplanes operating from the Scilly Islands over the Western Approaches throughout 1918, after which it disbanded. It was resurrected as a fighter squadron in 1939 and earned its place in history during the Battle of Britain, its Spitfires said to have shot down more German aircraft in a single day, 4 September 1940, than any other Fighter Command squadron, with ‘aces’ such as Pat Hughes and Bob Doe. Pure air defence of the UK then gave way to offensive sweeps over Western France, the squadron losing many aircraft in 1944. In September 1944, No. 234 exchanged its Spitfires for Mustangs to carry out ever-deeper penetrations into Europe on offensive and escort operations. It served during the Cold War in Germany with Vampire fighter-bombers, F-86 Sabres and Hunter F4s and was not disbanded until 1994.

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