WW2 Fiction

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cherry blossom

Senior Airman
510
454
Apr 23, 2007
Whilst looking at a recent hot topic, I realised that this forum doesn't have a place for WW2 or aviation related fiction. There are quite few books that might interest several of the less serious minded members and there might be some interest in a recommendations thread. Examples include
Bomber by Len Deighton Amazon.com: Bomber (Penguin Modern Classics): 9780241493700: Deighton, Len: Books, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller https://www.amazon.com/Catch-22-50th-Anniversary-Joseph-Heller/dp/1451626657, Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson Amazon.com: Piece of Cake (R.A.F. Quartet): 9780857050939: Robinson, Derek: Books and many, many others.
 
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More seriously...

Len Deighton "Fighter"

Derek Robinson "A Good Clean Fight," "Damned Good Show," plus the "Goshawk Squadron" series set in the First World War

Frederick Forsyth "The Shepherd"

Hope these make up for my last post...actually, I don't really care! :)
I thought Len Deighton's Bomber was even more impressive.

I'm a big fan of Derek Robinson. He still writes although he's almost 90 now. He always emails me when he publishes a new book so I can buy it signed. Nowadays they are mostly books with collected tidbits but still fun to read.
 
If I'm allowed, I'd like to recommend my dad's book, AD ASTRA. (non-affiliate Amazon link)

Ad Astra 2020 front cover@0,25x.jpg


It's drawn from his experience as a private and professional pilot through most of his life; his lifelong love of World War II aviation (his dual dreams—both now fulfilled—were to fly on a B-17 and to fly a P-51); a haunting "What if...?" that's followed him since the death of his cousin on his first mission as a B-17 tail gunner over France in 1944; and a desire to highlight the largely forgotten bomber war in the SW Pacific.

From the back cover:

It is 1940. America is mired in the Depression, as the rest of the world sinks into war. Tucked in his small corner of Kansas, a farm boy dreams of being an airline pilot, a dream that seems as unreachable as the hawks soaring high over his father's fields.

But when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, suddenly his dream is within reach. As the pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress in the South Pacific, he finds himself among the hawks at last, gaining the experience he is certain will lead him to an airline career after the war.

War has a way of changing our destinies, though, and when confronted with that harsh reality, young Gene Stoddard is forced to reconcile what's most important to him—the dream he can't have, or the life he can. And sometimes, he learns, dreams come true in ways that we can never imagine.

Among other wonderful reviews he's received for it, my favorite is from Douglas Walker, the son of MoH recipient Brig. Gen. Kenneth Walker, commander of V Bomber Command in the SWPA in 1942-43:

This is a story of heroism as a byproduct of a love and determination to fly . . . Del Hayes has written a richly detailed book, which gives the reader the vicarious sense of being with Gene behind the wheel of his beloved B-17. Hayes also brings that skill to bear in dealing with the human element in the story. We become closely involved with Gene and Mattie, and share an anxiety for their future that can only come from knowing them both so well. This is a wonderful novel.

I hope you decide to check it out. It's his most personal novel, and I think his best.

Available on Amazon here (non-affiliate link): AD ASTRA, by Del Hayes
 
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I'd also recommend FLIGHT TO ARRAS, by Saint-Exupery, but do yourself the favor and buy the anthology AIRMAN'S ODYSSEY, which also contains WIND, SAND, AND STARS and NIGHT FLIGHT. (non-affiliate link)

It's one of my favorite books, of any kind, and cemented Saint-Exupery in a tie for my favorite author alongside Steinbeck.

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I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian
 
I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian

That's a great list Kaki! Thank you, I too have a large collection of WW2 fiction (land war as well as aviation) and there's a number on your list I don't own nor have I heard of. (I just joined this forum today).
Here's some others from my collection of WW2 aviation fiction that you might be interested in (assuming you don't already own copies of).

# Readiness at Dawn (1941)- Ronald Adam. Originally published under the pseudonym 'Blake'. Roger MacMurray, a former pilot of the Great War and a member of the RAF reserve is recalled to duty in 1940 to serve as a fighter controller at a Fighter Command sector station during Dunkirk and the early phase of the Battle of Britain. The author flew as a pilot in the RFC during the Great War (he survived being shot down by the Red Baron) and served as a fighter controller in the RAF in WW2. Adam was also a successful stage & screen actor (he played Air Marshall Mallory in the film 'Reach for the Sky').

# We Rendezvous at Ten (1942)- Ronald Adam. Sequel to above. This novel covers the latter phase of the Battle of Britain, the subsequent Blitz and the 'Rhubarb' fighter sweeps over France in 1941.

# Signed with Their Honour (1942)- John Aldridge. A young British pilot named John Quayle flies with No 80 Squadron during the Greek and Cretan Campaigns in 1940-41, flying Gloster Gladiators and later, Hawker Hurricanes. Written by an Australian who served as a war correspondent in the Mediterranean & North Africa during WW2. The novel was quite a success in the UK and the USA when first published (although some critics did point out it was rather 'Hemingway-ish' in style & mood). A film version was attempted in 1943 and some aerial footage was shot over Cheshire (since lost) but the production was abandoned after funding dried up and three Gloster Gladiators were written off in accidental crashes.

# Valley of the Sky
(1944)- Herbert D. Skidmore. Novel about the crew of a B-24 in the Pacific War during WW2.

# Pathfinders (1944)- Cecil Lewis. Novel about the crew of a Vickers Wellington in RAF Bomber Command who are preparing for a night raid on Germany in 1942. The novel examines the thoughts and backgrounds of each member of the crew. This novel was recently reprinted by the IWM London for their 'Wartime Classics' collection of neglected WW2 fiction. The author is most famous for his 1936 book Sagittarius Rising, a memoir of his experiences as a pilot in the Great War (the book was a favourite among British pilots in WW2).

# Command Decision
(1947)- William Wister Haines. General 'Casey' Dennis takes command of a B-17 Bomb-Group of the 8th Air-Force and he is forced to send them in costly raids against a factory in Germany manufacturing a new jet fighter, despite his superiors and a war correspondent questioning the justification of such heavy losses. The author, who served as an Intelligence officer in the 8th AF 1943-45, originally wrote this novel as a stage play (it was first performed on Broadway in 1947). It was also adapted as a motion-picture in 1948 starring Clark Gable & Walter Pidgeon.

# Night Be My Witness (
1948)- Walter Clapham. Englishman Johnny Somers starts the war as a trooper in an Anti-Aircraft battery during the Battle of Britain. He applies for pilot-training but proves to be a mediocre cadet and is 'washed out' by his instructor. Somers instead qualifies as a bomb-aimer and he completes a tour of operations with a bomber unit in the Mediterranean. Despite his growing combat fatigue, he is then assigned to a pathfinder unit in Bomber Command for night raids on Germany. The author flew with Bomber Command during WW2 and post-war worked as a journalist, film critic & editor.

More to come............
 
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I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian

Continuing my list from before:

# The Gesture (1948) by John Cooper Cobb. A war-weary B-17 Squadron of the 8th Air-Force receives a new CO, Major Harris, an eager and idealistic officer. The novel's narrator is Whipple, a B-17 bombardier who is physically recovering from wounds and hopes to be sent home. Harris, in a well-intentioned but naive gesture, tries to cease segregation for the base's African-American personnel, sparking a riotous backlash from the aircrews. The author was a navigator on a B-17 in the 8th AF during WW2 (he passed away in 2021, age 99). Copies of the novel are quite rare, it was first published (in hardback only) in 1948 plus a limited hardback reprint edition in 1988.

# The Sun is Silent (1951) by Saul Levitt. A novel that follows a B-17 crew from their training in the States through to their deployment to the 8th Air-Force in England. Copies of this novel are very rare (and expensive!)- it was never reprinted after it's initial release in hardback in 1951. The author served as a radio-operator & gunner on a B-17 with the 100th Bomb Group of the 8th AF. He was part of the way through his tour of operations when he was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident. Assessed as medically unfit for further flying, Levitt was transferred back home. Postwar, Levitt had a successful career as an author & playwright. His best-known work was his 1959 stage play The Andersonville Trial.

# Faith is a Windsock
(1952) by Miles Tripp. A pilot named Bergen and his crew fly Lancaster bomber A-Able in No 3 Group RAF Bomber Command from their base in East Anglia during the final months of the war in 1945. Despite the Luftwaffe having been all but defeated and the British bombers now able to fly many of their operations in daylight, there remain many ways for bomber aircrew to die, a fact that Bergen and his war-weary crew are all too aware of, especially with the end of the war finally in sight. The author survived 37 trips as a bomb-aimer in Lancaster bombers during WW2. Postwar he became a successful author, writing nearly 40 novels during his career, most of which were crime novels published under pseudonyms. Tripp also wrote a factual memoir about his wartime experiences- The Eighth Passenger- in 1969.

# Crispin's Day
(1952) by Leigh Howard. The pilot of a un-armed Mosquito flies a low-level daylight photo-reconnaissance sortie on the morning after the famous Ruhr Dams Raid in May 1943, his task to photograph the damage from the previous night's operation. The author (whose actual name was Alexander Lee Howard) served in the RAF during WW2, flying with Coastal Command and also with the RAF Film Unit.

# The Last Squadron
(1953) by Gerd Gaiser. A novel about a Luftwaffe fighter unit, equipped with FW-190s and stationed on the Danish coast in the mid-summer of 1943, fighting against both RAF incursions via the North Sea and US heavy bomber formations over the mainland of Europe. The author served in the Luftwaffe during WW2, both as a pilot and as a staff officer. The novel was originally published in Germany as The Falling Leaf and the English hardback edition was also released under that title. It was re-titled The Last Squadron for the English paperback edition.

# Squadron Airborne
(1955) by Elleston Trevor. Novel about a Spitfire squadron of RAF Fighter Command (code-named 'Vestal' Squadron) during one week at the height of the Battle of Britain in late August or early September 1940. A new ('sprog') pilot named Stuyckes joins the squadron and awkwardly tries to learn how to survive alongside the more experienced fliers. The unit has to endure stress, fear and exhaustion and one pilot will succumb to combat-fatigue before the week is out. Another pilot, haunted by the loss of his family in a German air raid, has vowed revenge on his Luftwaffe opponents. Unlike most other aviation novels, members of the ground crew are also featured as significant characters. The author served as a flight engineer during WW2. He wrote a large number of novels in a variety of genres. Trevor's 1956 novel The Big Pick Up was used as the basis for the 1958 film Dunkirk. His best-known novel is the aviation adventure Flight of the Phoenix (1964) which inspired two film versions, one starring James Stewart in 1965 and a less successful one starring Dennis Quaid in 2004. He also wrote the Quiller series of espionage novels, published under the pseudonym Adam Hall, one of which was filmed in 1966 as The Quiller Memorandum (Trevor was so unhappy with the film adaption, he refused to sell the film rights for his other Quiller novels).

# Johnny Kinsman
(1955) by John Watson. Johnny Kinsman was orphaned as a small child and raised by his aunt & uncle, the latter a disabled veteran of the Great War. He enlists in the RAF and trains as a pilot, joining a Halifax heavy bomber unit of Bomber Command. Troubled by his unhappy childhood and a lingering immaturity, Kinsman flies Halifax Z-Zebra on night raids over Germany. Things get complicated when he meets Julie, a married woman whom his friend and fellow pilot Wakefield is having an affair with. Kinsman finds himself attracted to Julie himself. The author served as a Halifax pilot with No 158 Squadron Bomber Command, surviving over 40 operations and earning a DFC.

# Maximum Effort
(1957) by James Campbell. In early 1944, Group-Captain Dorton and Wing-Commander Carter are ordered to take over No 186 Squadron, a Halifax unit that has been suffering heavy losses, low morale and poor performance for some time. The two men face the difficult task of improving the combat record of the squadron. The author flew in Halifax bombers with No 158 Squadron, Bomber Command during WW2 (the same unit as author John Watson). Post-war, Campbell was a successful journalist.

# He Flew by My Side (1957) by Erwin Morzfeld. A pair of new pilots are posted to a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-88 torpedo bomber unit that operates over the North Sea, tasked with attacking Allied supply convoys. Tortege is a serious-minded professional while Hellmig is a more reckless, flippant type. Despite their differences, the two men develop a close friendship as their unit begins to suffer heavy losses, both to the Allies and to the harsh weather. The author flew Ju-88s over the North Sea during WW2. He was shot down and captured, spending the rest of the conflict in a POW camp in Scotland.

# The Sky Ablaze (1958) by Victor Schuller. A new young pilot is posted to a Luftwaffe Ju-88 bomber unit based in Italy during the siege of Malta in 1942. He soon wrangles a transfer to a fighter unit and in this role, he sees action over Stalingrad and later over Germany against the US daylight bombers. He is chosen to fly what the novel refers to as 'the new rocket-powered fighter' (presumably the Me-163 Komet). The novel was originally published in Germany with the title 'With Falling Oak Leaves & Swords.......the World Perished'. No information available on the author.

# The Damned Wear Wings
(1958) by David M. Camerer. Colonel Mark Royson takes command of the 473rd Bomb Group of the 15th Air-Force based in Italy in 1944. The B-24 crews are tasked with flying missions to destroy the oil refineries at Ploesti in Rumania. Royson is relentless in his determination to achieve results, despite the heavy losses his crews are suffering on the costly raids. The author served for two years with the 15th AF in Italy during WW2. Post-war, Camerer was a successful sports journalist in New York.

# Goodbye to Some
(1961) by Gordon Forbes. A novel about a PB4-Y unit based in the Sulu Sea in the NW-Pacific and centring on war-weary pilot Captain Carl Iverson (the PB4-Y was the naval patrol version of the B-24). The novel highlights the mental and physical strains on the aircrews who endure the harsh climate and long patrols over the never-ending ocean. The author flew PB4-Ys during the war. It took him two years to find a publisher for the novel, partially due to the blunt & bitter tone of the book.

More to come..................



 
I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian
A couple of points about your great list:
'Bomber Crew' by Joseph Landon was originally published as 'Angle of Attack'
'Face of a Hero' by Louis Falstein- there were allegations that arose in the late 1990s from some quarters that Joseph Heller had imitated aspects of Falstein's novel for the former's 'Catch-22'. Heller angrily denied this. According to Heller, while both he and Falstein had flown in bombers over Italy in WW2, the two men had never met and Heller had neither read nor even heard of Falstein's novel when the former wrote 'Catch-22' in 1960.
'I Fought You from the Skies' by Willi Heilmann and 'The Last Battle' by Peter Henn were published as factual memoirs rather than as novels. However in the case of Heilmann's book, given that it was at least 30% fiction, it may as well be regarded as a 'novel'. Similar to 'Heaven Next Stop' by Gunther Bloemertz, a 'memoir' about a Luftwaffe pilot who flew with JG-26 but it's basically a partially fictionalised or 'novelised' account ('lyrical memoir' is another term I've heard).
Cheers, Pete
 
I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian
To continue my list from before:

# Sweeney Squadron (1961) by Donald J. Plantz. Novel about a USAAF P-51 fighter squadron from their operational training in Florida through to their deployment to the Pacific theatre in 1945. Their CO, Major Everett Gregory, strives to forge the unit into a team when they are threatened with disbandment after initial poor performance during training including the loss of a cadet in an accidental crash. No info available on the author.

# Glide Path (1963) by Arthur C. Clarke. RAF radar instructor Flying Officer Alan Bishop is transferred to the secret RAF base at Land's End to join a motley team of pilots, technicians and boffins working on a radar talk-down system for aircraft. The author is of course the famous science-fiction author who wrote the screenplay for the film '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Clarke served in the RAF 1941-46 as a radar specialist.

# The Last Tallyho (1964) by Richard Newhafer. Novel about the F6F Hellcat pilots on board the USN fleet carrier 'USS Concord' during the Pacific War in 1944. The carrier's Air Group participates in the epic Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944. The author flew with the US Navy in both WW2 and Korea. Newhafer flew Hellcats from US carriers in 1944-45 and he was credited with 3 Japanese aircraft destroyed. He was also credited with participating in the destruction of the Japanese battleship Ise during a US carrier raid on Kure in 1945. Post-war, Newhafer worked as the publicity officer for the USN aerobatics team The Blue Angels. Later, he worked in LA as a television scriptwriter & director.

# They Hosed Them Out
(1965) by John Beede. Novel about an Australian named John who is one of a consignment of RAAF cadets who are 'volunteered' to serve as rear-gunners in Vickers Wellingtons in RAF Bomber Command in 1942. The author flew as a gunner with Bomber Command 1942-44, flying in four different types of bombers. 'John Beede' was a pseudonym, his real name was John Bede Cusack. The book was released in the UK in 1970 with the title 'Rear Gunner'. A revised edition was released in Australia in 2012 under the original title with the uncensored text, historical background and a short biography of the author written by his daughter.

# Order of Battle (1968) by Alfred Coppel. Novel about US pilots of the 93rd fighter-bomber Group flying P-38J Lightnings on low-level ground attack missions against targets in German-occupied France in 1944. Encounters with the Luftwaffe are rare because the Germans have withdrawn the bulk of their fighters to defend their home territory against the daylight heavy bombers of the 8th Air-Force. However with D-Day approaching, the P-38s are ordered to fly missions deeper into enemy territory, making interception from German fighters more likely. The story centres on four characters: P-38 pilots Deveraux, Ward & Porta and Englishwoman Anne, the latter a widow whose husband was killed in 1940. Each of the chapters is written from the perspective of one of the four. The author flew P-38s during WW2 in the European theatre. He wrote a number of other novels in a variety of genres including Dark December (1960), a post-nuclear holocaust novel and The Burning Mountain (1983), a speculative portrayal of a seaborne Allied invasion of Japan in 1946.

# Bomb Run
(1971) by Spencer Dunmore. Spanning one night in 1944, veteran pilot Wally Mann and the crew of Avro Lancaster G-George are flying their 33rd operation over Germany. Stalking them is a German BF-110 night-fighter pilot whose parents have been recently killed in an Allied air raid. The novel has an un-usual structure, the Lancaster crew's story is written in a third-person narrative while the German's perspective is written as first person in italics. The author, a British-Canadian, served in the RAF as a radar operator in the post-war era and he participated in the Berlin Airlift in 1948.

# The Silver Lady
(1972) by James Facos. In March 1944, the crew of the 8th Air-Force are flying long-range bombing missions against Germany, flying in a B-17G christened 'The Silver Lady'. The pilot, Lt Starrett, is trying his best to forge his crew, a mixture of old sweats and new replacements, into a team but some of the men are resistive to his efforts at bonding. The two waist-gunners are Sgt Mitch Hagen, a veteran who is quiet and withdrawn after earlier traumatic experiences of combat and Sgt Tom Wyatt, a new arrival who defied the wishes of his pacifist Quaker family in order to enlist. Despite their differences, the two men eventually develop a friendship. The author flew over 30 missions as ball-turret gunner on a B-17 in 1944 and was wounded in action and awarded a DFC. He later became a college lecturer and also wrote poetry and several stage plays. This was his only published novel.

# Beware the Wounded Tiger
(1973) by Geoff Taylor. In No 13 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command, is an Avro Lancaster bomber crewed by Americans. Their British colleagues resent them for their lax discipline & insubordination. The crew have nick-named themselves 'The Purple Hearts'. Their next operation will be the raid on Nuremburg on the night of March 30/31, 1944, a night that will be the most costly of the war for Bomber Command. The author, a British-Australian, flew Lancasters on night raids during WW2. Taylor was shot down in 1943 and spent the rest of the war in Stalag IVb prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. Post-war he moved to Australia and lived in Melbourne, working as a court reporter and advertising copywriter. Taylor wrote a factual memoir of his wartime experiences A Piece of Cake in 1956.

# The Fighters
(1973) by Colin Willock. A novel spanning the entirety of the Second World War as seen through the eyes of British fighter pilot Peter Bristow and his Luftwaffe counterpart Dieter Reh. The author, who was unsuccessful in his attempt to enlist in the RAF during WW2 due to poor eyesight, was a producer of TV wildlife documentaries.

# The Sudden Sky
(1973) by B. Michelaard. Another 'epic' novel which spans the Spanish Civil War, WW2 & Korea. In 1930s Germany, two aristocratic cousins Urban and Rolf are young, care-free playboys. Urban has an affair with a Jewish woman, forcing him to flee Germany to escape the Nazis. He works as an advisor for the US government and then goes to England to fly with the RAF. Meanwhile his friend & cousin Rolf becomes an ace pilot in the Luftwaffe. 'B. Michelaard' was a pseudonym of Arthur K. Goldsby who was best-known for his crime fiction. The author served in the US air-force during the Cold War.

# The Last Dogfight (1974) by Martin Caidin. In early 1945, a US fighter unit, flying out-dated P-40s, are holding a forgotten sector in the south Pacific. One of their pilots is Mitch Ross, a former orphan who survived a tough childhood to become a superb flyer and skilled ace. Facing them are a veteran Japanese Naval fighter unit operating from a concealed island base, their ranks including Lt Shigura Tanimoto, a veteran ace with nearly 20 Allied aircraft to his credit. Ross' unit receives a replacement aircraft, the P-38 and their Japanese counterparts are now faced with a far deadlier opponent. The author wrote a large number of aviation-related books. He was also a skilled aviator and a restorer of vintage warbirds.

# Winged Escort
(1975) by Douglas Reeman. Novel about a British pilot Tim Rowan of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Assigned to the escort carrier HMS Growler, he flies Fairey Swordfish biplanes on anti-submarine patrols while escorting vital supply convoys sailing across the Arctic to Russia. Later in the war, his ship is sent to the Indian Ocean and Rowan flies Supermarine Seafires on air strikes against the Japanese in Malaya & the Dutch East Indies. The author wrote a large number of maritime-themed war & historical novels. Reeman served in the Royal Navy during WW2 & Korea as a midshipman on destroyers & MTBs. He was wounded in action on D-Day.

# Tiger Ten
(1976) by William D. Blankenship. A pilot named Riley Stone of the AVG (American Volunteer Group) aka 'The Flying Tigers' is hired by the British to trek into the Burmese jungle behind enemy lines and steal a Japanese Zero fighter. The author served in the US Army in the 1950s and he wrote a small number of novels while working at IBM. Film rights for this novel were purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1977 but the project was never made.

# Summer of No Surrender
(1976) by Richard Townshend-Bickers. Novel about No 172 Squadron of RAF Fighter Command, flying Hawker Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain in August 1940. Among their pilots is Pilot-Officer Peter Knight who has a number of encounters with Luftwaffe BF-109 pilot & ace ace Erich Hafner of No 1 Staffel of JG-97. The author served in the RAF during WW2 and he wrote a large number of books about wartime aviation, both fiction & non-fiction.

# Whip (1976) by Martin Caidin. Novel about a unit of US B-25s based in northern Australia and commanded by Captain 'Whip' Russell. The unit is tasked with flying low-level bombing missions against Japanese shipping and ground-targets in New Guinea & the Solomons.

# The Wooden Wolf (1976) by John Kelly. An American pilot, Lt John Croft who is on assignment to the RAF, is sent on a low-level night mission in his Mosquito fighter-bomber, tasked with assassinating Adolf Hitler. The author served as a pilot in the US Navy.

# Bomber Stream Broken (1978) by James Campbell. Novel about a single Bomber Command 'maximum effort' raid in 1943, told from the perspective of a number of characters, the author clearly inspired by Len Deighton's 1970 novel 'Bomber'.

# Means of Escape (1978) by Spencer Dunmore. A British RAF flight-engineer Ron Pollard bales out from his burning Lancaster over Germany in 1944. While trying to avoid capture on foot, he encounters an English-speaking German officer named von Eisner who is also in hiding, having been implicated in the July Bomb Plot against Hitler. The two hatch a plan to escape by stealing a BF-110 from a Luftwaffe airfield.

# The White War (1978) by Patrick Raymond. An RAF Bomber Command station is joined by a Polish squadron, causing some cultural and political friction, partially due to the latter's flamboyant commander who seems keener to fight the Russians than he does the Germans. The author served in the RAF from 1943 until the 1970s, commanding a Bomber Command station during the Cold War.

# The Sky Remembers
(1978) by Dan Brennan. At the height of the Battle of Britain, a combat-fatigued Wing Commander named Jimmy Butler is recalled to duty to take charge of an in-experienced fighter wing. The author, an American, claimed to have served as a gunner in both RAF Bomber Command and in the US 8th Air-Force, flying a combined total of 80 missions. He wrote a number of novels including several about the night bombing offensive.

# Rider on the Wind
(1979) by David Westheimer. An American B-24 navigator named Michael Harris is stationed in British-controlled Palestine during WW2. He befriends a Jewish woman named Hannah who turns out to be a member of a resistance group fighting to establish the State of Israel. The author served in the 98th Bomb Group of the 15th Air-Force as a navigator on a B-24. His aircraft was shot down over Italy in 1943 and Westheimer spent the rest of the war in Stalag-3 POW camp. He wrote a number of novels, the most famous of which was Von Ryan's Express (1964) which was adapted into a popular film the following year.

# The White Sea-Bird (1979) by David Beaty. A British pilot named Guy Strickland flying a Liberator bomber with RAF Coastal Command becomes obsessed with hunting a U-Boat raider operating from a concealed base in Norway. The author flew Liberators with RAF Coastal Command during WW2, completing four tours and earning a DFC. On one patrol, his aircraft was badly damaged while attacking a U-Boat on the surface but he managed to return to base. Post-war, Beaty worked as a commercial airline pilot for BOAC and his ideas on aero-safety were very influential during the 1950s/60s. His 1959 novel Cone of Silence (about an airline crash) was made into a film in 1960.

# Wingmen
(1979) by Ensan Case. A young US Navy pilot, Ensign Fred Trusteau, is assigned to duty on aircraft carrier 'USS Constitution' during WW2, flying F6F Hellcat fighters. His squadron CO is experienced pilot Lt-Commander Jack Hardigan. Their unit takes part in the 'island-hopping' campaign across the Pacific in 1944-45 and the two men embark on a secret relationship. The author served in the US Navy in the 1960s. This novel has been credited with being one of the first American war novels to feature gays as central characters.

# Betrayed Skies (1980) by Rudolf Braunberg. In the autumn of 1944, a Luftwaffe pilot named Michael Braak is stationed with his unit in Poland, flying Focke-Wulf FW-190A fighters. The advancing Russians are drawing closer while the massed formations of US daylight bombers penetrate deeper into the shrinking territories of the Reich. The author flew as a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe during WW2 and a number of his novels were published in Germany.

# Ace
(1981) by Spencer Dunmore. A new pilot named Ernst Brehme arrives at his Luftwaffe fighter unit in France in August 1940 and he flies a BF-109E during the Battle of Britain. As his score of enemy machines grows, he flies on the Eastern Front and later in Germany against the US daylight bombing campaign. Despite his fame & prestige, Brehme inwardly becomes more war-weary and disillusioned as his old comrades vanish one by one.

More to come.............


Cheers, Pete.




 
I have a large collection of WWII aviation fiction, including some that are somewhat rare. Most are paperbacks
A Day is 26 Hours--Geoff Parnell- 1942 novel of RAF Bomber Command
A Tent in Corsica- Martin Quigley-Novel about USAAF B-26 operations from Corsica
Blaze of Glory-Michael Carreck-Novel about a RAF Wellington pilot circa 1942
Face of a Hero-Louis Falstein-novel of 15th AF B-24 Jewish gunner
The Last Battle- Peter Henn-Novel of a Me-109 pilot in Italy
I Fought You From the Skies-Willi Heilmann-Novel based on a FW-190 pilot experiences in Normandy with III/JG-54
View From the Air- Hugh Fosburgh-Novel about B-24 experiences in the SWPA, 13th AF
Skip Bomber-Lloyd Olson-Novel of B-17 crew in the SWPA
Bomber Crew-Joseph Landon- 15th B-24 novel
We Were Three-Gui Lefreve- Novel about Belgian fighter pilots with the RAF
The Gun Garden- Paul Stanton-AFV Wellingtons flying from Malta.
Bomber Crew 369-William Anderson- 15th B-24 novel.
Roll Back the Sky-Ward Taylor- B-29 operations from Tinian

And finally.......

# Pathfinders Light the Way (1983) by Donald J. Wright. Novel about a pathfinder squadron in RAF Bomber Command. The novel was released in the UK as Pathfinder Squadron. The author, an Australian, flew as a navigator in Lancaster bombers 1943-44, serving in three different squadrons, two of which were pathfinder units. In late 1944, suffering combat fatigue, Wright was posted back to Australia and spent the remainder of the war in the RAAF Reserve. Post-war, he worked as a survey draughtsman. Having suffered PTSD for decades after the war, Wright wrote the novel in the early 1980s as a way to come to terms with the memories of his experiences. During his training at the OTU in 1942, Wright's room-mate had been fellow Australian navigator Don Charlwood who would later write the famous war-memoir No Moon Tonight.

# Yesterday's Gone
(1983) by N. J. Crisp. A working-class Englishman named David Kirby enlists in the RAF and trains in the United States as a pilot. Returning to Britain, he flies Avro Lancasters on night raids with Bomber Command. The author served in the RAF 1943-47. Post-war, he worked as a writer, producing scripts for numerous British TV series including Colditz, Dixon of Dock Green and The Secret Army. He also wrote several plays (two of which were filmed) and several other novels. His full name was Norman James Crisp but he worked under the professional name 'N. J. Crisp'.

# Chanter R.N.
(1984) by Kenneth Poolman. Petty-Officer Jack Chanter flies Fairey Swordfish with the RN Fleet Air-Arm. Cocky and reckless, Chanter's demeanour is challenged when his ship is sent to the costly campaign in the Mediterranean. The author served in the Royal Navy during WW2. He wrote a number of non-fiction books about air & naval warfare.

# Paper Doll (1986) by Jim Shepard. In the autumn of 1943, the rookie crew of an 8th Air-Force B-17F christened 'Paper Doll' prepare for their first mission, the raid on Schweinfurt. The author is a teacher of literature at an arts college in the US.

# The Man Who Loved War
(1988) by John Watson. An RAF South African pilot named Jordan is shot down and captured by the Germans in 1940. While confined in a POW-camp, Jordan is approached by the commandant and offered the chance to lead a special Luftwaffe squadron comprised of renegade Allied pilots who have volunteered to fight the Russians. A fervent anti-Communist and desperate to return to combat, Jordan agrees.

# Dauntless (1992) by Barrett Tillman. A novel portraying the Battle of Midway and the campaign at Guadalcanal in 1942, centring on a US Navy dive-bomber pilot Ensign Phil Rogers, a US Marine Air-Corps fighter pilot Lt Jim Carpenter and a Japanese Imperial Naval fighter pilot, Lt Hiroyoshi Sakuda. The novel was later followed by a sequel- Hellcat (1996). The author has written a large number of non-fiction works on naval air combat in WW2.

# A Real Good War
(1997) by Sam Halpert. The crew of a B-17G, having completed their training in the States, arrive at their 8th Air-Force unit, the 324th Bomb Squadron in Britain in late 1944. Instead of being allowed to fly missions together as a crew, they are instead broken up to provide replacements for casualties in other crews. The novel is narrated by the navigator as he completes his tour of 35 missions. The author flew 35 missions as a navigator in the 91st Bomb Group between Sept 1944 to Feb 1945. This was his first novel, written at age 77.

# Remains (2000) by Daniel Ford. Novel about a pair of pilots in the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in Burma in 1942. The author served in the US Army in the 1950s and worked as a reporter in the Vietnam War. He wrote several other novels, one of which- Incident at Muc Wa (1967) was adapted into the 1976 film Go Tell the Spartans.

# The Burning Blue
(2004) by James Holland. Novel about a British pilot in the RAF who flies in the Battle of Britain and later over North Africa. The author has written a number of non-fiction books on the Second World War and regularly co-presents a podcast about that conflict.

# Blue Man Falling
(2006) by Frank Barnard. Novel about two RAF fighter pilots- Englishman Kit Curtis and American Ossie Wolf- who fly Hawker Hurricanes during the Battle of France in May-June 1940. The novel was followed by two sequels- Band of Eagles (2007), set in Malta in 1941 and To Play the Fox (2008), set in North Africa in 1942. The author completed his National Service in the RAF in the early 1960s.

# A Pair of Silver Wings
(2006) by James Holland. Novel about a retired British school-teacher who reflects on his past experiences as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during WW2.

# A Good War (2008) by Patrick Bishop. Novel about a Polish fighter pilot serving in the Royal Air Force during WW2. The author has written a number of non-fiction titles on the Second World War.

# Under an English Heaven
(2011) by Robert Radcliffe. Novel about a B-17 pilot and his crew in 1943. The pilot, Tom Hooper, forms a relationship with English village school-teacher Heather whose husband has been listed as missing in action.

# Dambuster (2012) by Robert Radcliffe. Experienced bomber pilot Peter Lightfoot is chosen to join the new special No 617 Squadron for a highly secret mission.

# A God in Ruins (2015) by Kate Atkinson. A 'spin-off' novel from the author's acclaimed 2013 novel Life After Life. This novel focuses on Teddy Todd, a young man who enlists in the RAF and flies Halifax heavy bombers with Bomber Command, surviving over 70 operations.

# And Some Fell on Stony Ground (2015) by Leslie Mann. Pilot-Officer Mason of Bomber Command, a pilot of a Whitley bomber, prepares for a night raid on Dusseldorf in the summer of 1941. The author wrote the manuscript for this novel (based closely on his own experiences) in the late 1940s but the work was never published during his lifetime (Mann passed away in 1989). It was finally published in 2015 by the Imperial War Museum with the consent of the author's family. The author flew as a tail-gunner in a Whitley bomber with No 51 Squadron 1940-41. In June 1941, his aircraft was shot down during a night raid on Dusseldorf and Mann was captured and sent to a POW-camp. After two years of confinement, he suffered a psychiatric breakdown (going 'wire happy') and the Germans granted his repatriation home via the International Red Cross in 1944. Post-war, he worked as a journalist and news-cameraman.

# EO-N (2020) by Dave Mason. A Canadian pilot, Squadron-Leader Jack Barton, flies dangerous missions over German-occupied Norway in 1945 while in Germany, war-weary Luftwaffe pilot Major Gunther Graf dreams of escaping his fate.

Cheers, Pete.
 

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