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What the RAF Airman Took To War

Between July and October 1940, in what became known as the Battle of Britain, a nation held its breath while the pilots of the Royal Air Force battled Hitler's Luftwaffe in the skies above England. Many lost their lives in this hard-fought episode and in the four years of air campaigns that followed. As Prime Minister Winston Churchill put it, "Never was so much owed by so many to so few." In this beautifully illustrated tribute to "The Few," Bill Howard catalogs the objects upon which every wartime pilot depended, from the superstitious good-luck charm to the parachute on which his life may depend, and other poignant items relating to the air war.




In addition to the remaining copies of “What the RAF Airman Took to War” featuring a bookplate signed by RAF Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, a limited edition of just 10 copies featuring a bookplate signed by RAF fighter ace and Battle of Britain veteran, Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE is now available for $60.  A portion of the proceeds of this sale will benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund.


Wing Commander Thomas Francis “Ginger” Neil is one of the last surviving pilots who flew during the Battle of Britain.  Neil achieved “fighter ace” status during World War II and scored a total of 14 victories during the war.  Neil joined the RAF in 1938 at the age of 18 and was called up for service at the beginning of the war.  He served with No. 249 Squadron, flying Hurricanes out of Church Fenton airfield.  He flew a total of 141 combat sorties during the Battle of Britain and survived a mid-air collision with another RAF aircraft that severed the tail section of his Hurricane.  He bailed out of the crippled aircraft, suffering only a minor leg injury.  Neil was awarded the DFC on October 8, 1940 and a Bar (denoting a second award) on November 26, 1940.  Neil later served during the siege of Malta, flying to the defense of the embattled British garrison stationed there.


This is a very rare opportunity to secure one of only a limited number of copies of “What the RAF Airman Took to War” with bookplates signed by a true RAF hero of the Battle of Britain.  If desired, these books may also be signed by the author.  Please contact me at to arrange for the purchase of this very special volume.

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