No. 214 (Federated Malay States)
Royal Air Force
The following are a collection of items that are directly or indirectly related to the 214 and would make great gift ideas for the historian, aviator or veteran in your family. Or, be greedy and "indulge yourself" with a good book or proudly show off your connection to the squadron with the various insignia and badges available.
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E-BOOKS & MAGAZINES
LIBERATORS OVER BURMA
Title: RAF Liberators over Burma
Author: Bill Kirkness and Matt Poole
To Order from Amazon:
RAF wireless operator/air gunner Bill `Enoch' Kirkness of Horsforth, Yorkshire,
flew thirty-two B-24 Liberator bomber sorties, twenty-eight of which were
against Japanese targets in Burma. He was credited with downing the night
fighter that killed a crewmate and severely damaged his Liberator in April
1944; his aircraft's crash-landing abruptly ended his first tour of operations.
He was awarded a prestigious Distinguished Flying Medal for his heroism.
Bill's memoir of Wellington ferry flights, Liberator training, and operations
with 159 Squadron typifies aspects of the human spirit-including fear and
anxiety, focused determination, numbing boredom, brotherly camaraderie,
heart-wrenching anguish, and comic relief-which any young man immersed within
such a conflict would have likely experienced. Bill wore his heart, not
just his sergeant's stripes, on his sleeve. Bill's story is a compelling,
dignified account of an average man's war from 1942 to 1944 in the UK, the
Mediterranean, Africa, and onward through his first operational tour based
in India. Matt Poole, an expert on 159 Squadron and RAF Liberator activities
against the Japanese, seamlessly enhances Bill's narrative with added historical
detail. Although Bill passed away in 1994, Matt vowed to help bring the
memoir to a wider audience.
Book Title: Flying Among Heroes
Author: Norman Franks and Simon Muggleton
To Order from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008D30T8Y/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
T.S.C. Cooke joined the RAF as war began in 1939, aged 18, and trained to
be a bomber pilot. Rising to the rank of squadron leader and decorated three
times, Cooke bombed Berlin on 7 October 1940 in a Whitley Mk V, nearly ditching
in the North Sea. Throughout this tour he faced the usual dangers of wartime
aircrew, his aircraft being hit by AA fire on several occasions, once almost
having to order his aircrew to bail out but landed safely at the last minute.
They were also attacked by night fighters, encountered icing and even shot
up a train and bomber station at tree-top level. Flying Wellingtons and Stirlings,
Cooke took part in the infamous 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne and Essen, before
returning to operations flying Special Ops Halifax aircraft, dropping agents
into enemy-occupied France. After a dozen missions, he was shot down but he
and his navigator survived and evaded capture. Helped by the French resistance,
they got into Spain and returned home via Gibraltar. Both men received the
DFC for their bravery. While their story is not totally unique, their adventures
and courage make this tale akin to an adventure novel.
The Best Sport Ever!
Title: ESCAPE The Best Sport Ever!
ISBN Number: 978-0-473-40433- 8
Publisher: Arthur J Gatland, New Zealand
To Order: Contact A J Gatland at email@example.com or visit the Facebook
Frank Gatland was a decorated Kiwi Stirling bomber pilot with 214 Squadron
(RAF). He was awarded the DFM for a daring low-level night attack on Genoa
in 1942. A few weeks later, the Stirling was shot down by a Me110 over France.
Frank evaded capture for 10 days while travelling 200km towards Switzerland,
but was captured and became a POW. He escaped multiple times, with varying
success, managing to cover over 1500km through Nazi-held Europe. In January
1945 he was part of the Great march of POWs west away from the approaching
Russians. He survived the war and returned to New Zealand.
This book is his personal record of his war history. It is an amazing and
enthralling record of his exploits, demonstrating courage and determination,
coupled with his unique sense of humour throughout. His story is supported
by over 100 photos and documents from the time, many from his personal wartime
collection. It has received rave reviews, and sales have exceeded expectations.
Such is the level of interest that it is already starting to appear in Libraries
and schools in New Zealand.
Frank passed away aged 90 in 2007. The book has been published by his son
Arthur Gatland, and ex-RAF Harrier pilot and current Air New Zealand B787
instructor, to recognise and preserve the historical significance of Franks
record and so everyone can enjoy this great story!
of 214 Squadron
was one of the Brylcreem Boys
An autobiography of his time in the RAF. ISBN 9781481089593.
March East - The final days of Oflag 1X A/H and A/Z
- The Fifteen Ton Flying Fortress
Simons and Harry Friedman Price: £19.99 ISBN: 9781848845381, Type: Hardback,
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was the first American heavy bomber to see
World War action when it was supplied to the RAF in 1941. Laden with abundant
armaments, it had a massive and distinctive tail designed to improve its performance
during high-altitude bombing, and went on to become one of the most famous
and best-loved bombers of World War Two. The design of the B-17 originated
in 1934 and included many highly advanced features for the time. Boeing continued
to develop the aircraft as experience of the demands of long distance flying
at high altitude was gained. When the USA entered World War Two, production
of the aircraft was rapidly escalated and the Flying Fortress became the backbone
of the USAAF in all theatres of war. This impressively researched book describes
how the B-17 was built and utilises many previously unpublished photographs
from the design studio and production lines. It illustrates and explains the
many different roles that the aircraft took as the war progressed - heavy
bomber, reconnaissance, anti-submarine and air-sea rescue operations - there
were few tasks that this solid design could not undertake. Although other
books exist which chronicle the history of this famous military aircraft,
B-17: The Fifteen Ton Flying Fortress offers a fresh new approach that is
as illuminating as it is fascinating. Using primary source documentation,
it recounts the undoubted achievements alongside the shortcomings of design
and operation that have otherwise received scant attention. It also delves
into the surrounding murky world of power politics to deliver an intriguing
account of all you never knew about the B-17. It will appeal to all with an
interest in aviation or military history.
Graham Simons is a highly respected aviation historian and author. He has
many contacts within the aviation industry that have resulted in him accessing
the previously unpublished photographs shown in this book. American neuro-surgeon
Dr Harry Friedman is a past-president of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association
and a leading light in B-17 Co-Op, the B-17 aircraft owners and operators
To use images from the book or for further information, please contact Laura
Wilkinson at Pen
& Sword Books on Tel: 01226 734267 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
is internationally regarded as THE magazine for aviation history and heritage.
Having pioneered coverage of this fascinating world of'living history' since
1980. FlyPast still leads the field today.
Cumming's original work, based on family archives, official records and interviews
of those who knew Cranswick, has been extended and updated with new material
and previously unpublished photographs. Flying High Publishers presents the
50th anniversary edition of Pathfinder Cranswick as an ongoing tribute to
one of the Royal Air Force's most distinguished and accomplished pilots, who
flew the most operational missions. 'To look back at a boy-man so simply courageous
and so selfless is an inspiration both rare and elevating' - Air Vice-Marshal
D.C.T. Bennett, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O. Squadron Leader Alec Cranswick, D.S.O.,
D.F.C., was an 'unsung hero', yet he reached a unique position in command
of a bomber crew, exceeding 100 operational missions, latterly with Path Finder
Force with whom he flew Halifax and Lancaster aircraft to pinpoint major targets
as far afield from the P.F.F. bases in Britain as Pilsen in Czechoslovakia,
Peenemunde on the Baltic coastline, and Berlin. Carefully-crafted and interwoven
with the experiences of other flyers linked to him through the school he attended
or the squadrons with whom he flew, Pathfinder Cranswick is a narrative in
aviation history that makes compelling reading for succeeding generations.
from 15 March 2012
Distance: The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham
Beetham enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Royal Air Force. He joined
the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and was awarded the DFC whilst serving with Bomber
Command during 1943/44. Remaining in the post-war RAF, a number of flying and
staff appointments followed. Notably he drafted the first specification for
the ill-fated TSR 2 and later joined the V-Force as commanding officer of 214
Squadron at Marham. Beetham then served at the heart of Bomber Command s affairs
when the V-Force was at the forefront of the Nation s defences. The most critical
moment came with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In 1964 he was given command
of Khormaksar in Aden, the RAF s biggest overseas station. His arrival coincided
with the start of a terrorist campaign against British forces in Aden. More
senior appointments followed, notably as Commander 2nd Tactical Air Force and
Commander-in-Chief RAF Germany, but the big prize came in 1977 when Beetham
was appointed Chief of the Air Staff. In 1982 came the Argentine invasion of
the Falkland Islands; as acting Chief of the Defence Staff, he was involved
in the decision to send the Task Force to battle. After victory in the Falklands,
Sir Michael Beetham handed over as CAS and was appointed Marshal of the Royal
is currently the President of the 214 Squadron Association
from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Distance-Marshal-Michael-Beetham/dp/1848325525/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298496828&sr=1-1
Away; World War II Memoirs and Letters
Wing Commander John Leighton Beck's memoires "Chocks Away" recall his service
in 214 Squadron and later 159 Squadron.
book is available from Woodfield Publishing http://www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p235.html
Also available from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocks-Away-World-Memoirs-Letters/dp/1846830389/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298511056&sr=1-2
Wartime Log of F/Sgt. T.D.Glenn
Roz Glenn writes : My father-in-laws (Tom Glenn) POW Diaries are available
from the link below. Rod, Toms grandson has published it for the family but
so many people expressed an intererst in it that it is stocked through Tesco,
Waterstones and Amazon.
ISBN 978 0956373373
War Memorial 1914-1945 by Tony Blakeley, John Cockram, Nick Saunders
and Richard Williams
You can contact Richard Williams directly at XXXrtwilliams@orange.net (remove
the XXX before you send email) The cost is £8 plus £4 p&p
OF WAR - Americans serving with the RAF and RCAF during Word War II by
Wally Peter Fydenchuk
can contact Wally directly at XXXwpf13@hotmail.com (remove
the XXX before you send email)
Of A Bomber Pilot by Christopher Jary
biography of Flight-Lieutenant Jack Wetherly, DFC, who was killed in action
in a raid on Berlin in 1943, during his second tour of operations. The book
has been revised and edited with new information.
son of Peggy and Captain Sydney Jary MC of The Royal Hampshire Regiment; Christopher,
and his mother wrote Portrait of a Bomber Pilot.
More than an entertaining good read, the book is also a valuable research
tool for those looking for further information on the squadron and a deeper
understanding of life in the RAF during WW2. Group Captain Leonard Cheshire
VC DSO DFC wrote the Foreword while Ian Lawson, Geoff Cole, Ray Glass, George
McKeand, Nigel Walker, Ray Holmes, Don Smith, John Leighton Beck, Mervyn Leyshon
and many of Jack's friends and contemporaries breathed life into the book
with their vivid memories of those brave, sad times.
Available from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Portrait-Bomber-Pilot-Christopher-Jary/dp/0951207873/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298510197&sr=1-1
Shall Fall : The True Story of a Canadian Bomber Pilot in World War II
by Murray Peden
During World War II, Canada trained tens of thousands of airmen under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Those selected for Bomber Command operations went on to rain devastation upon the Third Reich in the great air battles over Europe, but their losses were high. German fighters and anti-aircraft guns took a terrifying toll. The chances of surviving a tour of duty as a bomber crew were almost nil. Murray Peden's story of his training in Canada and England, and his crew's operations on Stirlings and Flying Fortresses with 214 Squadron, has been hailed as a classic of war literature. It is a fine blend of the excitement, humour, and tragedy of that eventful era.
Murray Peden was the first Chairman of the Manitoba Securities Commission. A bestselling author, his articles have appeared in aviation magazines and newspapers in Canada, England, and the United States. He was a bomber pilot in World War II, and his autobiography has been hailed as one of the finest war memoirs ever written.
AND EVASION by
Squadron Leader Cyril Penna DFM
The fascinating true story of Sqn Ldr Cyril Penna and his epic journey to freedom after his Stirling bomber was shot down near the French town of Soisson. Many photos and memorabilia .
When The Sparrows Are Walking: the Origin and Effect of No 100 (Bomber Support
Group) RAF 1943-45 by Laurie Brettingham.
DVD & VIDEO
the Wind DVD
Egg are delighted to announce the release of Into the Wind on DVD. The DVD
will be released on November 30th and is available to pre-order from today.
The film is initially available in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, but
theyare working on making it available in other territories.
film is an insightful and touching documentary relating the experiences
of Second World War aircrew veterans of Bomber Command through their own
words and sadly in many cases for the last time.
As well as a document of unique historical value and significance, Into
the Wind is a record of deeply personal stories, tales of friendships gained
and lost, the perpetual possibility and proximity of death, the importance
of love and family, the moral implications of warfare
and their shared love of flying.
Into the Wind features a evocative original score by composer Hugh Cowling,
previously unseen archive material and is director, Steven Hatton ’s first
feature length documentary. It will be broadcast on UK TV on Yesterday Channel
The DVD includes the 72 minute director's cut of Into the Wind, exclusive
extras short documentaries and trailers, chapter selection menus and optional
Extra features include:
•New Zealand at War: A 22 minute documentary looking at New Zealanders in
Bomber Command. This film was made for the opening of the new aviation display
hall at the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, New Zealand.
•Ken Wallis. Aviator: A 13 minute documentary portrait of Ken Wallis' career
in aviation from his days in Bomber Command to his ground breaking autogyro
•Into the Wind trailer.
•The trailer for Steven Hatton 's new documentary, Heilig.
•A short film in which former Halifax pilot Dick Smith talks through the
workings of the aircraft.
The DVD is priced (including postage & packaging) at £14.99 for UK delivery
or £18.99 for Australian or New Zealand delivery.
To order please visit their website http://www.intothewind.co.uk/#/dvd/
A one hour video has been produced on the history of RAF Chedburgh mainly covering the period of No.218 Gold Coast Squadron, (Lancasters, December 1944 - July 1945) with special interest in the "then" last complete surviving Lancaster crew of WW2. The producers claim to profile in some detail the other squadrons that were based at Chedborough during the war, which of course includes the 214 FMS Squadron.
Copies are available from :
Ochreon Productions Ltd.
West Bank House, School Street,
Evesham, Wores. WR11 7PL
(0) 1386 832665
Blazer badges are available for most British regiments and many specialised units and R.A.F. Squadrons. All the blazer badges listed are in bullion wire, although silk versions are available. Military ties are available for most British regiments in silk or in good quality polyester, they are British made. Stripes and/or crests are available depending on the regiment or corps.
DL3 7LP England
Tel. +44 (0) 1325 489820
the XXX before you send email)