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. For a variety of reasons however, some incidents have remained unwritten. Now the author has turned to ‘fiction’ to bring these hidden events to light. The four stories, Flight Into Darkness, A Welcome in the Hillsides, A Question of Responsibility and A Richer Dust, are all based on actual events and personalities that the author encountered during the war.
Given the freedom of not writing specifically about himself, Tom Neil has been able to explore and reflect upon the emotional side of these stories, giving a raw insight into the impact of war on the minds of 20 year old combatants. The result is a vivid and compelling book which could only have been written by someone who had experienced the emotions at first hand. Humour, mystery, tragedy and love are all covered by the four stories which will appeal not only to the generation who lived through the war but also the younger reader and enthusiast alike.
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.