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Battle Order 204 by Christobel Mattingley
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Battle Order 204

by Christobel Mattingley

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I have read many memoirs of men who flew in bombers over Europe & Japan but this is the first I have read about an Australian flier and this one was a pilot. Perhaps most interestingly, it was written by his wife, an accomplished Australian writer of 47 books. She chronicles his training and eventual arrival in Britain where he experienced life on a RAF bomber base. She used diaries of her husbands and other crew members plus official sources to fill out the events that the crew faced during their trips of terror over Europe. She spends a great amount of time explaining how air crews were briefed for each trip and how each member of the crew tested their part of the aircraft before they left the ground. Includes many photos taken by members of the crew. The title refers to the sortie number on which Mattingley's husband & his engineer were wounded ending their participation in the War. ( )
  lamour | Dec 22, 2009 |
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Seconds after the bombs had been released, Dog was hit. David was wounded in five places by flying metal. His right knee, thigh and shoulder were injured. The tendons and artery in his right hand were severed. And shrapnel ripped though his thick leather helmet, fracturing his skull. The aircraft went into a dive. David's boyhood dreams of flying led him to England for months of training and preparation as a bomber pilot. But his final flight was a nightmare. Author Christobel Mattingley tells her husband's gripping story with remarkable restraint and compassion. Max Fatchen writes: 'This book is about the quality of courage. It tells the story of the life and times of a young RAF pilot and how the growth of character and a sense of regard for other people contributed to the strength of purpose and mission that enabled him although injured to fly a damaged Lancaster bomber back to base in World War II when all the odds seemed against him and his crew.… (more)

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