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Description - Aces, Airmen and the Biggin Hill Wing by Jon Tan

During the Second World War, RAF Biggin Hill was a top priority airfield. A commanding base for the Battle of Britain, it witnessed the congregation of Spitfire and Hurricane squadron members, specialist engineers, armourers and members of ground-crew; it was a veritable hot bed of talent and expertise. This fascinating new book from Jonathan Tan offers a snap shot of the years 1941-1942, an incredibly varied and eventful span within the wider context of the airfield's history. The author's late grandfather, David Raymond Davies, was a specialist armourer at Biggin Hill during this timeframe and his grandson's narrative serves as a tribute to a particularly eventful RAF career. Many of the events relayed are told from Davies' first-hand viewpoint. No other history has been published examining day-to-day operations at Biggin Hill in this way, from a ground-crew member's perspective during such a crucial period of Fighter Command's early war. Although the narrative draws on many sources, including original interviews, it foregrounds Davies' story, using it as a backbone for Tan's broader historical record. As such, it can be considered as something of a collective memoir, taking in strands from accounts laid down by such prolific figures as Don Kingaby, Sailor Malan and Walter 'Johnnie' Johnston, all of whom were good friends with the author's late grandfather. 'Johnnie' Johnston read the manuscript many times during the writing process and beyond, telling the author "I read it often, it sits here on the table next to me." Far from being a dry account, simply reproducing something of an operational diary, this narrative looks to engage the reader emotionally. It brings together a massive amount of evidence and oral history in an effort to tell the story of one twenty-one year old and his colleagues, thrown into the howling gale of the Second World War amidst the intensity of its first two years. AUTHOR: Dr Jon E.C. Tan is a senior lecturer and researcher at Leeds Beckett University. Alongside his academic work, he is a keen military historian specialising in RAF Fighter Command's operations post-1940, as well as those of the 2nd Tactical Air Force during the liberation of Europe 1944-45. In addition, his interests in the First World War have involved him walking the Somme battlefields using period maps.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781473881693
ISBN-10: 1473881692
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 0mm)
Pages: 250
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jon Tan

Dr Jon E.C. Tan is a senior lecturer and researcher at Leeds Beckett University. Alongside his academic work, he is a keen military historian specialising in RAF Fighter Command's operations post-1940, as well as those of the 2nd Tactical Air Force during the liberation of Europe 1944-45. In addition, his interests in the First World War have involved him walking the Somme battlefields using period maps.

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