LIGHTNINGS TO SPITFIRES
◗ Clive Rowley ◗ Air World (2021) (Pen and Sword Books) ◗ £25 ◗ 324 pages (hardback) ◗ ISBN:9781399015622 ◗ penandswordbooks.com
As the subtitle (Memoirs of an RAF Fighter Pilot and Former Officer Commanding the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) states, this is an autobiography of the author’s experience as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force in the last quarter of the 20th Century. I found it very interesting as we are of similar ages, both military, albeit different Services, and with recognisable experiences, though not the flying bit! One might legitimately ask why he should be of interest? The answer to which is that he is a highly experienced fighter pilot and has flown all sorts of fast jets as well as Hurricanes and Spitfires all detailed in a ripping yarn style. The book represents a distillation of adventures which will be familiar to many who served during the Cold War.
There is little to do with actual combat in this book so for wargamers it has limited value, but it is well written and supported by personal photographs. It is an interesting narrative on the latter half of the 20th Century and the personal experiences of an highly accomplished aviator with over 8,500 flying hours. It is thoroughly recommended for all readers with an interest in aviation, military, 20th Century, Spitfires and Hurricanes.