During World War II, Canada trained tens of thousands of airmen under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Those selected for Bomber Command operations went on to rain devastation upon the Third Reich in the great air battles over Europe, but their losses were high.
German fighters and anti-aircraft guns took a terrifying toll. The chances of surviving a tour of duty as a bomber crew were almost nil.
Murray Peden's story of his training in Canada and England, and his crew's operations on Stirlings and Flying Fortresses with 214 Squadron, has been hailed as a classic of war literature. It is a fine blend of the excitement, humour, and tragedy of that eventful era.
©1979 Murray Penden (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I've lived in Austin, Texas, for over 10 years, not Houston. World War II is my lifelong interest since my father was a combat veteran in the 8th Air Force. I grew up with pilots, bombardiers, and navigators. They told me many stories of their experiences and I cannot get enough of books and documentaries.
The perspective of just one person. So many WWII books are grandiose coverage of leaders and tactics. This is just the story of one person. The details are so great, the story seems to be day to day and gives the reader a strong feeling of the author's life. Not only a great pilot, Murray is a good writer. This is the book to learn what it took to become a pilot during this short period of history. The humor is refreshing and well done. One of my favorite WWII books. Be sure to read "The Wrong Stuff" and "Above the Thunder" if you like this book.
This book is a collection of stories, most of them very funny. Telling the story is critical, and the narrator does a great job. What fun recording this book must have been for him.
Not the title. "No Better Time to Learn to Fly. No Better Time to Die Flying."
Every pilot should read this book so they know what they missed. Just the story of landing the Tiger Moth is worth the hours invested. I'm not a pilot, but my father was an 8th Air Force pilot 1943 to 1945. Now I know a little more about him.
Traveler, Reader, Political Blogger.
A long but interesting account of a Canadian entering the Bomber force and missions in WW2, and of a rather unique bomber, the Short Sterling in action. A great book to keep with your aviation library.Wll worth a listen and the money.
Both the quality of the writing and the narration are excellent. Peden is a good writer telling an amazing story and the voice work matches with spot on accents from various countries.
60 year old male with 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 adult children, 1 wife.
Anyone interested in Canada ' contributions to the air war over Europe during WW2 will find this book worth while.
"One of the finest Bomber Command memoires."
No but only because the narrator was hopelessly amateur. He mispronounced much and indulged in malapropisms. His attempts at accents detracted from the text, which is beautifully written, graphic, funny and tragic in equal measure. The author brings out the danger, the fortitude of the crews and the spirit which permeated Bomber Command. A worthy tribute in particular to those brave airmen who went to war in the Short Stirling, a much maligned aircraft but an aircraft with a good reputation amongst those who mastered it on operations.
Too many to mention but the description of the author's trip to Gelsenkirchen, for which he won a well deserve DFC, stands out. Posterity is fortunate that Murray Peden has chosen to record his stellar career as a bomber captain and pilot in such lively, sensitive and graphic words.
His utter ignorance of the subject, his cringing attempts at accents, his comical mispronunciations and malapropisms. Some examples with the correct version in brackets: Startishall (Stradishall), Bury Street Edmonds (Bury Saint Edmonds), Extractor (Exactor), St Neets (St Neots), Reeding (Reading), Coop (Co-op), Coop (Coupe), N.A. A.F.I (naafi - and all the other abbreviations, particularly ranks, which should have been pronounced in full not spelt), Jacowbeen (Jacobean), practisable (practicable) and worst of all, mispronouncing Air Commodore Johnny Fauquier's surname such that it resembled the four letter F-word. This was to show a disprespect for the text. Why does Audible use actors, who inevitably have little sympathy for military subjects, when a knowledgeable expert would be true to the text and impart a sympathetic understanding.
I still rate it one of the finest aircrew memoirs and I've read or listened to most. A pity Salerno didn't do it justice but this can be overlooked in deference to Murray Peden.
"Truly outstanding story"
Truly outstanding story of comradeship, humour and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
You really do feel like you're up there with them!
"A wonderful and moving account of bomber warfare."
This audible book was so good I may listen to it again I am sure. Highly recommended and truly moving.
"the best ww2 aviation memoir"
great background great infomation on electronic warfare and an exciting story
murray seems like bloody good chap
the whole book is top draw
if your a ww2 aviation fan its a must read
"Fascinating account spoiled a little"
A fascinating account of a bomber pilot from training through service in England. It was slightly spoiled by the mispronunciations of several English place names a couple of which left me quite confused at times.
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