In All Things First - No.1 Squadron at War 1939-1945, Peter Caygill

In All Things First - No.1 Squadron at War 1939-1945, Peter Caygill

No.1 Squadron took part in just about every type of mission performed by single engined fighters during the war. The squadron took part in the Battle of France, the evacuation from France and the Battle of Britain. In the period before the arrival of airborne radar it attempted to act as a defensive night fighter squadron, and later flew night intruder missions. It took part in the period of offensive sweeps over France, the battle against low-level fighter bomber raids and the V-1 flying bomb, and finally helped escort Bomber Command aircraft when they resumed daylight operations towards the end of the war. As a result this book gives a really good cross-section of the fighter war as fought from Britain.

The squadron also flew three of the main fighter aircraft to see service with the RAF, starting with the Hawker Hurricane before moving onto the promising but troublesome Hawker Typhoon and finally converting to the Supermarine Spitfire.

This is a very detailed day-by-day history of the squadron, tracing the fate of individual pilots in each sortie, and will thus be of direct interest to anyone who has a connection with the squadron. No.1 Squadron's many and varied roles during the war means that the book is also of wider interest, and serves as a good example of the experiences of a home-based fighter squadron during the Second World War.

1 - Early Days
2 - The First Team
3 - The Phoney War
4 - Blitzkreig
5 - The Withdrawal from France
6 - The Battle of Britain
7 - Junkers and Dorniers
8 - Sweeps and Circuses
9 - A Change of Role
10 - Night Intruders (Beginning)
11 - Night Intruders (Conclusion)
12 - Enter the Typhoon
13 - Low Level Raiders and Ramrods
14 - The Spitfire
15 - The V-1 Campaign
16 - Bomber Escorts and the Spitfire F.21
17 - The Post-war Years
Appendix One - Aircraft Losses
Appendix Two - Details of Selected Operations/ Squadron Moves Showing Pilots and Aircraft Involved
Appendix Three - Operation Career of Sgt (later P/O) Walter Ramsey
Appendix Four - Operation Career of F/Sgt (later P/O) Ken Weller

Author: Peter Caygill
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 282
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation
Year: 2009

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