Failed To Return
Date of publication: September 2011
Publisher: Fighting High Ltd
With an average age of just twenty-two, the young airmen of the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command, all volunteers, began operating within minutes of the start of the Second World War. Continually, through to May 1945, the aircrews, with the odds heavily against them, fought in defiance of Nazi aggression. They defended the British Isles against invasion, they took the war directly back to Germany, they supported the Allied land campaigns, they opposed the enemy Navy and U-boat threats, and they countered the German V-weapon offensives. But the cost was high. From this multi-national force, made up of British airmen, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Rhodesians, Indians, Poles, Czechs, French, Americans and Jamaicans, a staggering 55,573 airmen would lose their lives, 9,838 would become prisoners of war and a further 8,403 would suffer wounds.
Fighting High Publishing brings together notable military aviation authors to tell the stories of some of those who `failed to return' from operations. The carefully selected stories demonstrate the diversity of operational duties undertaken by the aircrews, whilst highlighting the extremes of danger they faced, often day after day and night after night. Most would not survive their ordeal, and many others would see out the war incarcerated in an enemy POW camp.
The authors, drawing upon surviving veteran accounts, family archives, official documents, wartime memoirs and letters, flying logbooks, and relative and witness recollections, piece together the extraordinary, gripping, yet ultimately tragic events surrounding the losses described. Illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs and documents, Bomber Command - Failed to Return ensures that the memory of all the young men, some would even say boys, who sacrificed all, is kept alive.