A collection of vivid, unforgettable stories from RAAF veterans about their experiences of combat in World War II. It is also an account of the strange, sometimes obsessive journey of the author himself, as he explores a passion held since childhood. From bomber pilots to fighter aces, from rear gunners to bomb aimers, from stories of death and fear to tales of humor and comradeship, Michael has helped unearth the extraordinary stories of ordinary men living and fighting in extraordinary times.
The more I learned, the more I realised this was an Australia I hardly knew. This was stormy weather Australia, an Australia of shipwrecks and sealers, of brutality and extermination, of folly and heroism, of wild weather and explorers in flimsy boats, of 1,000-foot cliffs and amazing birds and strange vegetation, of places well trodden and others believed never to have felt the impact of a human foot. This was a truly gothic Australia, as real and as valid as the gold and the drovers and the deserts yet known to almost no one.
The epic World War II story of Australia's 75 Squadron - and the 44 days when these brave and barely-trained pilots fought alone against the Japanese. In March and April 1942, RAAF 75 Squadron bravely defended Port Moresby for 44 days when Australia truly stood alone against the Japanese. This group of raw young recruits scrambled ceaselessly in their Kittyhawk fighters to an extraordinary and heroic battle, the story of which has been left largely untold.
Simultaneous release of the thrilling new volume of true stories from airmen of the Second World War, from the author of Flak (also available in audio by Bolinda). 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.
"Excellent book from RAF and RAAF point of view"
It is somewhere close to midnight on the clock when the men who fought the Second World War will still be with us. I have met just a few of them, sometimes goading them to reveal their experiences, at other times being simply a conduit to the river of their memories, sensing, on occasion, a kind of urgency to get it out there, just so these adventures and tragedies will not be lost to future enquiring minds. Michael Veitch has always been a keen historian and aeroplane fanatic.