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December 14, 2020 at 2:30 am #15548Janelle ZafferGuest
by Geoffrey Wellum
- Format: paperback, 352 pages
- ISBN: 9780141008141 (0141008148)
- Language: english
- Author: Geoffrey Wellum
- Release date: May 1, 2003
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
- Genres: history, aviation, biography, war, memoir, autobiography
About The Book
“In First Light, Geoffrey Wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the world had ever seen.
It is the story of an idealistic schoolboy who couldn’t believe his luck when the RAF agreed to take him on as a “pupil pilot” at the minimum age of seventeen and a half in 1939. In his fervor to fly, he gave little thought to the coming war.”
“Writing with wit, compassion, and a great deal of technical expertise, Wellum relives his grueling months of flight training, during which two of his classmates crashed and died. He describes a hilarious scene during his first day in the prestigious 92nd Squadron when his commader discovered that Wellum had not only never flown a Spitfire, he’d never even seen one.”
A battle-hardened ace by the winter of 1941, though still not out of his teens, ‘Boy’ Wellum flew scores of missions as fighter escort on bombing missions over France. Yet the constant life-or-death stress of murderous combat and anguish over the loss of his closest friends sapped endurance. Tortured by fierce headaches, even in the midst of battle, he could not bear the thought of “not pulling your weight,” of letting the other pilots risk their lives in his place. Wellum’s frank account of his long, losing bout with battle fatigue is both moving and enlightening.
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