Spitfire! [illustrated]: The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot
English | 1 July 2018 | ASIN: B07F718P6V | 224 Pages | MOBI | 728.7 KB
This new illustrated Kindle edition published by Spitfire Publishers in July 2018 substitutes Brian Lane’s anonymous comrades’ pseudonyms (imposed by the wartime censor) with their real identities.
Reproduces Brian Lane’s previously unpublished combat reports.
Includes a newly written introduction, glossary and set of biographies of Lane’s fellow pilots and their fate written by historian Jonathan Reeve author of BATTLE OF BRITAIN VOICES (‘A valuable contribution’ BBC WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE MAGAZINE).
Includes 10 incredibly rare contemporary, colour images of the Battle of Britain.
‘A very fine and vivid account’ MAX ARTHUR.
Brian Lane was just 23 when he took command of the RAF’s top fighter squadron. The first to be equipped with the brand-new Spitfire, 19 Squadron blazed a deadly trail across the skies of the south east at the height of the Battle of Britain and led experimental trials with heavier armaments and new combat tactics.
Unlike most memoirs of the Battle of Britain, Brian wrote his in 1940/1 whilst the fear, exhaustion and mental stress was still raw. He shot down six enemy aircraft, endured terrifying attacks from Messerschmitt 109s in the maelstrom of massed aerial dogfights and the death of many fellow pilots.
Brian was killed in action just six months after first publication in March 1942. His gripping memoir of life as Spitfire fighter pilot, and of ‘one of the few’ who saved Britain from invasion by Nazi Germany is a true hero’s last testimony.
About the Author
Brian Lane, from Pinner in north west London, joined the RAF in 1937, and the prestigious 19 Squadron in September 1939. He married the famous racing driver Eileen Allison just before the Battle of Britain in June 1940 and was appointed squadron leader at the beginning of September 1940. Lane disappeared on 13 December 1942 after a dogfight with Focke Wulf 190s over the North Sea near Holland. By this time Lane had shot down six enemy aircraft plus one additional shared kill. His body was never recovered.
His memoir was originally published under the pseudonym ‘Squadron Leader B.J. Ellan’ by John Murray Publishers. Although it sold well during the war, it soon fell out of print along with many other servicemen’s combat memoirs and has only recently reached ‘classic’ status. In 2011, to a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast, a memorial plaque was unveiled on the house Lane grew up in in Pinner. Guests of honour included John Milne, the 19 Squadron rigger responsible for refuelling and repairing the airframe on Lane’s Spitfire during the summer of 1940.
About the Editor
Jonathan Reeve has been a history book publisher for twenty years and has been responsible for publishing several memoirs by Battle of Britain fighter pilots including SCRAMB
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