Perth: Paterson Brokensha, . Octavo, original pale blue cloth, illustrated endpapers, 200 pp., photo plates. Some rubbing at spine ends, some foxing on rear endpaper, cloth a slight flecked, otherwise a very good copy. 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 #3333
Price (AUD): $175.00