Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC was one of the RAF’s highest scoring Aces during the Battle of Britain and in the past thirty years has written a number of successful books and articles about his extensive wartime career. He has also written three ‘short story’ books which blend incidents from his wartime career into a satisfying mixture of fact and fiction, mainly to explore the emotional and psychological effects that wartime flying had on him and his comrades and to tell stories that couldn’t be told in his regular auto-biographies.
This book is the last in the trilogy of ‘Faction’ books to go alongside ‘Flight into Darkness’ and ‘Questions of Guilt’. They are the final stories written by Tom Neil and once again describe real people and events but with names and situations modified to keep the personalities involved anonymous.
Acts of Fate is based upon the author’s own experience of visiting pre-war Germany and his subsequent friendship with two happy and carefree German teenagers during the long hot summer of 1937. Although the war makes them ‘enemies’, their friendship never dies.
Jonathan Kerr exposes a darker side to squadron life during WWII where an unsavoury character’s personal ambition and influence bring tragedy and a burning desire to see justice done.
An Unusual Period of Rest is Tom’s final short story and contains several incidents that he encountered, particularly during his eventful time as a Chief Flying Instructor in Lincolnshire. Various memorable characters and events produce experiences of frustration, discontent, humour and tragedy in this compelling final tale.
Tom Neil joined 249 Squadron in May 1940 and flew throughout the Battle of Britain becoming one of the most successful aces with 13 confirmed victories. A Flight Commander by the age of 20, he was then posted to Malta where he saw further action in the intense battle to defend the island. Returning to the UK he was given command of 41 Squadron and then attached to the USAAF as a flying liaison officer, flying both the P-51 and P-47 on operations. He retired from the RAF in 1963 and currently enjoys an active life in Suffolk.