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MOSQUITO INTRUDER PILOT . PSB594

MOSQUITO INTRUDER PILOT

A young pilot's WW2 experiences in Europe and the Far East

Jeremy WALSH

2022, 341 pages, format 16 x 24, 16 pages de photos NB, texte en anglais.

32,00 € TTC

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MOSQUITO INTRUDER PILOT

Ben Walsh lied about his age to join the RAF, determined to play his part in the Second World War. He volunteered to be an intruder pilot, flying low level operations in the dark. Initially flying ops in Douglas Boston Intruder IIs, he then converted to the legendary de Havilland Mosquito FB VI. Ben flew ops for three years, starting in the skies over with Europe with 418 (RCAF) Squadron, then ferrying one of the first Mosquito FB VIs to India before flying in the Burma campaign with 27 Squadron (under Wing Commander Nicolson VC) and finally with 45 Squadron.

The Mosquito developed problems in the severe climate it encountered in the Far East which resulted in the aircraft being temporarily grounded in November 1944. This saw Ben undertaking thirteen operational sorties in venerable Tiger Moths in the Arakan.

Although Ben survived belly landings, crashes, enemy fire and engine failures, the strain of combat operations took its toll on the still-young pilot. He and his navigator asked to be removed from operations, but their request was denied, both being threatened with court martial.

By the end of the war when still only 21 years old, Ben was suffering from a nervous condition known as ‘the twitch’. His confidence and health were restored by the young woman who had been his pen friend through the war, who became his wife and the mother of the man who has compiled this dramatic and moving story – Jeremy Walsh.

Throughout the war, Ben maintained a ‘Roll of Honour’ in his photograph album, memorializing his friends and colleagues who lost their lives. That album forms the backdrop to this important biography, which is based on Ben’s own recollections, his logbook and the notes he kept through the war. Mosquito Intruder Pilot is Ben’s story.

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