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Ted Stocker lived a charmed life. Trained at RAF Halton as one of Trenchard's 'Brats', a posting to Boscombe Down saw him fly in both the prototype Stirling and Halifax just as war engulfed Europe for the second time. Qualifying as one of the RAF's first flight engineers, he flew operations in 1941/42 with 35 and 102 Squadrons, a contemporary of Leonard Cheshire, helping with the often hair-raising task of converting pilots from two to four engines. On his return to 35, he became a pathfinder and flight engineer leader, taking part in virtually every major air battle of the war. Awarded the DFC in 1943, he was posted to 7 and then 582 Squadrons, going on to complete more than 100 bombing operations , often as a master bomber, and flying with some of the pathfinder 'greats', including Don Bennett himself. Although his aircraft was frequently hit, and he survived a crash landing on only his second trip, Ted was never wounded. His achievements were recognised with the Distinguished Service Order, the only known DSO issued to a flight engineer during the war or since. After the war, he flew with Bomber Harris on a tour of Brazil and later qualified as a pilot, introducing the Lockheed Neptune anti-submarine aircraft to the RAF for the first time as a flight commander with Coastal Command.
Des Curtis was one of the founder members of 618 Squadron. Formed within days of the illustrious 617, 618's primary objective was to mount a daylight low-level attack by Mosquitos on the German battleship Tirpitz within hours of the attack on the Ruhr dams. The operation, codenamed Operation Servant, was given top security classification, to the point where the subject was excluded from the minutes of the meetings of the Chiefs of Staff of the air and naval forces. The author reveals the dilemmas and conflicting priorities existing to the highest levels, setting out in detail the technicalities of developing the 'bouncing bomb'. He also writes first hand about the tactical problems of getting to and from the target; and the tensions and strains endured by the Mosquito crews themselves, as they took the war to the German U-Boats within the sight and safety of their bases.
This guide book covers the present-day battlefield, and the actions that took place on and immediately behind the D-Day beaches, and Major and Mrs Holt's Pocket Guide to Normandy has been put together to take you around the area. This book, part of a new series of guides, is designed conveniently in a small size, for those who have only limited time to visit, or who are simply interested in as an introduction to the historic battlefields, whether on the ground or from an armchair. They contain selections from the Holts' more detailed guide of the most popular and accessible sites plus handy tourist information, capturing the essential features of the Battles. The book contains many full colour maps and photographs and detailed instructions on what to see and where to visit.