Perth: Paterson Brokensha, . Octavo, original pale blue cloth, 200 pp., photo plates. Lower end of the spine a lit rubbed, some light spotting of the cloth, a few neat and unobtrusive marginal notations in ink; overall a rather nice copy of a book rarely encountered in pleasing condition. The dust-jacket is a little chipped and creased. First edition of the standard history of 460 Heavy Bomber Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force. This original printing has become scarce, although the book has been re-issued twice since its publication in the mid-sixties. The author, Peter Firkins, joined the R.A.A.F. at seventeen years of age and completed a tour of operations with 460 Squadron. As such, his history blends strategic and tactical information with a more personal and intimate life of Australian airmen on active service in Europe.
As noted in the introduction, the heady and often reckless lifestyle of these men reflected their chances of survival. The odds of surviving a full operational tour in Bomber Command were approximately 2.5:1. It was a life of both extreme violence and hedonism: 'at two o'clock in the morning they would be flying through the fiercest artillery barrage a night fighter defence system ever devised. A few hours late they could be in the arms of a lover, or watching a glamorous theatrical show, or drinking beer in the enchanting surroundings of an Old English inn.' Potter, Australian Aviation Bibliography, page 11. Item #2988
Price (AUD): $250.00