The contribution made by Bomber and Coastal Aircrew to the Battle of Britain. The exploits of Churchill’s famous ‘Few’ the fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain, are well documented; not so the work and sacrifices of the Bomber and Coastal Command crews who also fought in this period. The Summer of 1940 was a critical time for Britain, which stood alone against Nazi Germany. Invasion by sea was believed to be imminent and every effort had to be made to prevent it. Day after day and night after night an assortment of aircraft not normally associated with the Battle of Britain set off across the Channel and North Sea. Ansons, Battles, Blenheims, Hampdens, Hudsons, Wellingtons and Whitleys made hazardous reconnaissance, bombing, convoy escort and air-sea rescue sorties. Many of the gallant crews lost their lives to Messerschmitts, Flak and the elements; yet their vital contribution to the battle and their sacrifices have gone unrecorded.
Author Larry Donnelly, himself a Whitley gunner during the Battle, set himself the task of putting the record straight. Many years of research have resulted in a day-by-day analysis of Bomber, Coastal and Fleet Air Arm operations and losses. Supporting this account are biographies of many of the participants and detailed accounts of the incidents.
This is the only book to cover the famous conflict in this way and forms a worthy tribute to ‘The Other Few’.
It was Larry’s wish to see recognition given to his many fellow airmen who flew during this most critical period of WW2. Larry was taken ill towards the end of his project, but soldiered on in good humour typing, as he described it, with his last good finger. In October 2004 his wish was fulfilled with the publication of this book and its public launch at RAF Duxford. As publishers we were saddened to hear that he passed away on New Year’s Day, 2005. Aircrew to the Battle of Britain. The exploits of Churchill’s famous ‘Few’ the fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain, are well documented; not so the work and sacrifices of the Bomber and Coastal Command crews.
Larry was a wireless operator / air gunner in 1940 and completed three tours of ops, in Whitleys, Halifaxes and Sunderlands. In 1945 he was retrained as a pilot and flew in the RAF for another 20 years before retiring to Cumbia. His ambition was to see his fellow aircrews of Bomber and Coastal Commands recognised for their contribution to the Battle of Britain. Larry passed away in 2005, shortly after his book was published.