Email this review


War in the air...the most exciting, dangerous, and highly skilled form of duelling ever devised."" Bob Braham, irrepressible son of an English country vicar, joined the Royal Air Force in 1938 in a spirit of high adventure. From the vantage of his mere 18 years, the world looked good to him, yet he longed more than anything to risk his neck in the War so soon to begin in earnest. Once he had won his coveted wings, he quickly became one of the pilots selected to engage in a variety of specialized and daring missions, including helping with the development of early radar. Nowhere in the book does he mention having kept a diary, and yet his descriptions of many of his flights are so detailed they are almost photographic. Perhaps he merely has a good memory; perhaps it is because the searing, savage tragedy of the war burned into his brain forever. He had already become an ""ace"" and been decorated several times when he was shot down, captured, and interned as a prisoner of war, less than a year before the war's end. Strangely enough, he was to meet the German pilot who had his plane, and spite the obstacles, the two men developed a friendship that after the war, to the extent that the former enemy has written the introduction to Braham's book. After twenty odd chapters, the explicit narration gets somewhat repetitive, yet over all this is one of the most vivid and unobtrusively dramatic reports of its kind.

Publisher: Norton