A unique collection of stories from World War II airmen, ably narrated by Australian actor and broadcaster Michael Veitch, who collected them. Most of the octogenarian airmen here - pilots, bombers, and runners alike - are Australian or British, but their experiences run the gamut of emotions experienced during war, from terror to comedy, mourning to joy. Military history aficionados will greatly appreciate this collection of rare material, and marvel anew at the sacrifices made during these unforgettable battles.
Michael Veitch's life-long obsession with the aircraft of the Second World War led him to conclude that every single person who flew, or flew in them, has at least one extraordinary story to tell. With most of these veterans in their 80's, he knew that it was a matter of urgency to find them now, before their personal stories disappear forever. So, over the course of a year, Veitch interviewed over 50 former aircrew across Australia, many of whom had never spoken about their experiences before, even to their families. The result was Flak - a collection of vivid, unforgettable stories from RAAF veterans about their experiences of combat in World War II - and Fly is the second instalment of stories.
From bomber pilots to fighter aces, from rear gunners to bomb aimers, from stories of death and fear to tales of humour and comradeship, Michael has helped unearth the extraordinary stories of ordinary men living and fighting in extraordinary times.
©2008 Michael Veitch; (P)2008 Bolinda Audio
I am very much a WWII aviation enthusiast and read a lot on the subject. This book contains tales from RAF and RAAF pilots and crew who flew in Lancasters, Sterlings, Blenheims, Beauforts, Sunderlands, Fireflies, etc. This material is rare to find elsewhere. In addition, Mr. Veitch is a marvelous writer and narrator. I highly value both the subject matter and the masterful style in which it is presented.
If you are a WWII aviation enthusiast, this is definitely a book for you.
Reviewers often focus on there being comments negative toward Americans. As an American myself, I wish the impression were different. But I keep in mind that WWII was fought by young servicemen, many full of bravado, and it was not uncommon for those of one nation to have some rivalry toward or frictions with those of another -- such was even sometimes the case between one branch and another or even between one squadron and another of the same nation's forces.
Criticism of this book is unwarranted. The author searched from one introduction to the next to find the airmen of WWII willing to tell their story. Sure, most of those he spoke to were from the RAAF or the RAF. That is more a result of a geography than anything else - they live in Australia.
It is important to note that he did include the stories of German pilots he was able to interview. Based on his wise handling of that material, I see no reason why he would not have included the stories of Russian, Canadian or South African air crew if that had been possible. For reviewers to discount this book for lack of American content, when it is an Australian book, is perplexing.
Michael Veitch has done a great job in preserving memories that future generations should know. I highly recommend this book.
22 retired Army officer. History buff , WWII and flying enthusiast. I love to read, but I work as a gunsmith and firearm instructor and just don't have the time, audible is my FIX !!!!
This is read by the author, in his Australian accent, about RAAF and RAF flyers.
Great story's of incredible men of WWII.
I found the stories interesting, but the author clearly is biased against USA. None of his stories included US fliers. Any mention of the US in the book was negative. You get the feeling the US was incompetent and killed more allied fliers than the Germans.
I found this to be a very interesting collection of interviews of members of the RAAF. Enjoyed the style and delivery, I was surprised however to discover that Americans were held is such low esteem by many if not most of those interviewed. As an American knowing the amount of American blood that was shed to save the Pacific from total Japanese domination it kind of left me with a view of Aussies akin to that of the way the French said thank you. I walked away with a feeling our Allied relationship was similar to that we had with the Russians.
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