Bombers Fly East - WWII Operations in the Middle & Far East, Martin W. Bowman

Bombers Fly East - WWII Operations in the Middle & Far East, Martin W. Bowman

I must admit the first thing I noticed with this book is that the title is rather misleading. I’d say only about half of the book covers the campaign in the Middle and Far East, and one of those chapters is actually a post-war story. The other half focuses largely on the Mediterranean and Italy, with with one chapter even taking us to Poland!

The individual chapters vary in character. Some are based on the memoirs of a single individual (credited in the chapter listings). Others tell a single story but from several perspectives and others are more like narratives of a particular part of the air war. As a result the tone of the book changes more than usual between the chapters.

I did have one minor quibble in the chapter on the Yantze Incident, where the author questions the wisdom of putting warships onto a river in the middle of the civil war, when that was actually the reason the Royal Navy was on the river in the first place – to protect British interests during the Chinese Civil War.

The key thing with any book of this type is the quality of the stories, and this book contains a interesting and varied collection, including some very unusual topics (the story of an escape from occupied Siam with the aid of just about the entire local establishment is perhaps the most unfamiliar, and got me reading on an new topic).

1 - Mediterranean Missions
2 - Warsaw Concerto
3 - Three Men in the Mediterranean
4 - They Captured their Captors
5 - The Middle East. Flight Lt James W. Moore DFC
6 - Malta - The Modern Crusader, Flight Lt James W. Moore DFC
7 - Desert Rescue, D.H. Clarke
8 - 'The Widow Maker', Jack Millin
9 - A Wimpy Pilot in Italy, Jack Challinor
10 - The 'Goldfish' Gang
11 - Miracle in the Desert
12 - The Setting of the Rising Sun, Wing Commander Bill Anderson OBE DFC AFC
13 - The Forgotten Air Force
14 - 'The Erk'
15 - At War With the Japanese
16 - Escape from Siam
17 - The Buccaneers of 'Screaming 104', Paul Stevens
18 - The Eddie Allen, Jim O'Keefe and Captain Ira Matthews
19 - Yangtze Incident
Author: Martin W. Bowman
Edition: Hardcover
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation
Year: 2017

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