They Gave Me A Seafire
|PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION):||2001|
|INSIDE:||20 pages of b/w photographs|
'Mike' Crosley started training with the Fleet Air Arm on the very day of the battle of Taranto and went on to serve aboard HMS Eagle on the notorious Malta convoy run, shooting down his first enemy aircraft in two days.
Surviving Eagle's sinking in August 1942, the author graduated to Seafires - the Naval equivalent of the Spitfire - and flew this beautiful but often troublesome aircraft in Combat Air Patrols and 'ramrod' strikes until the end of the war, by which time he had command of his own squadron.
From hilarious episodes during training and working up in the West Country and Scotland, through the Allied landings in north Africa during operation 'Torch' and an arctic convoy to Russia in which his carrier was so badly storm-damaged that it had to limp home with its flight deck virtually hanging loose from its hull, the author describes in vivid detail the experiences, the excitement and the terror of this type of flying.
He finished the war, still flying Seafires, abroad HMS Implacable as part of the 'forgotten' British Pacific Fleet. Frank, often scathingly critical of 'Their Lordships' and others, side-splittingly funny one moment and desperately tragic the next, this is the true story of a young man thrown into a war which would first bring him together with his sweetheart and then separate them, which would bring comradeship, exhilaration and tragedy in almost equal amounts.