(Barnsley): Pen & Sword, (2013),
Reprint. octavo, pictorial heavy paper wrappers. (viii), (160)pp. Pen & Sword, Item #23546
Illustrated with photographs. Philip Bartlett’s account is a unique and fascinating record of a pilot’s life in the dawn of aerial warfare and, as history, of the first use of the bomber in war, strangely, by the Navy’s aircraft. Flying by day and night alone, without navigational aids, the author moves from attacks on the U-boat bases to bombing the German Gothas as they prepared to raid London, and then to the support of Haig’s drive to the coast which ended in the mud of Passchendaele. The climax in March, 1918, is reached when the author’s squadron finds itself directly in the path of Ludendorff’s massive thrust, which broke the British Vth Army and nearly decided the War. Attacked by Richthofen’s aces, No 5 Squadron RNAS flew continuous and desperate missions against the advancing troops from airdromes which were overrun time after time. At a time when the life of a pilot was reckoned in weeks, the author flew 101 missions, enduring the rigors of flying without heating or oxygen, with hesitant engines, no parachutes and the attention of German fighters. Yet there is continual evidence of the pure joy of flying and wonder at the sheer beauty of the the sky. New.