WINGS OF VICTORY by Richard Hough


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Final installment in the R.A.F. trilogy which includes Wings Against the Sky (1979) and The Fight of the Few (p. 385). As the story resumes, The Battle of Britain and Luftwaffe air superiority are now in the past, and Flight Lieut. Keith Stewart is flying Hurricane bombers daily over the channel, leading a flak-ridden squadron. Keith's starcrossed foster-sister Eileen, whom he's always loved secretly, is recovering from a nervous breakdown at death's door (see previous volumes for the why-and-wherefore), although her engagement to US pilot Mike Browning (now teaching pilots back stateside) is still not formally broken off. And Keith himself, while repelling German bombers (plus Hitler's VI Vengeance rocket) and engaging in air duels over German depots and supply routes, becomes very depressed by all the death and destruction; only his affair with older WAAF Jennie really thrives--they finally wed, and she becomes pregnant while working as his flight controller. There's a climactic air battle, of course--as Mike and Keith side by side take on their first enemy jet fighter, a Messerschmitt with tremendous maneuverability and speed--but flown by an inexperienced 18-year-old. And finally Eileen, fully recovered from her breakdown and the deaths of her parents in a raid, takes commando training and is sent in to aid the French Resistance, with heroic but fatal results. As before--the aviation's fine, the romances are barely passable, and overall it's a trilogy mostly for R.A.F. buffs who don't mind a few soapy clichÉs along with the take-offs, landings, and air battles.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1980
Publisher: Morrow