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The Spitfire Site

A Tribute to Britains Finest Fighter

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Author Topic: Free ebook about WWII Spitfire Pilot  (Read 10413 times)
juliet1959
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« on: October 07, 2011, 11:16:28 AM »

Hi guys

I do hope it is OK to post here, I certainly share your passion for the Spitfire. My Dad, Flt.Lt. Hal Thomas, was a foundation member of 485 NZ Spitfire squadron in March 1941. He flew more than 40 operations over France. In late 1941 he was sent to the Middle East and he came home in late 1943.
He wrote many letters home and my Nana kept them. After the war he wrote about his time in the R.A.F., about night flying in Spits, his first operation over enemy territory etc. and with no fear of censorship, he could be more frank.
I am an author and I decided to take his work and create an ebook, so others can read about his war and also for the younger members of our family who never met this brave and modest man. He flew escort to the bombers that dropped Bader's leg and he deliver Spitfires to Russia in the spring of 1943, lots of interesting stuff!

If you want to take a look, it is free at Smashwords in many different formats, including for PC or Mac. You will find it here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93757

October 7th would have been his 94th birthday, so I delighted to able to do this, to honour him.

Cheers


Julie Thomas










 
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 10:42:39 AM »

I was at the National Archives, in Kew, yesterday, so had a quick look in the 123 Squadron O.R.B. (Operations Record Book.) During the first part of your father's service, records are a bit perfunctory, but, in 1943, things picked up a bit, and he appears several times, flying either a Spitfire Vc, or Hurricane IIc; the majority of their work seems to have been convoy escort, and he appears to have been in B Flight, which, for some reason, was known as Bashful Blue, and, on at least one occasion, he was known as Bashful Blue 1 during a sortie.
Edgar
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Sopwith
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 08:18:07 PM »

Thanks Julie,will download it when I get chance,thanks for the gen.
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juliet1959
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 12:05:54 AM »

Edgar

Thanks so much for that, it is fascinating to get more info on his Middle East war, we know so little. Bashful is a good word to associate with him, he was a very modest man.

Cheers

Julie
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Antoni
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 12:39:46 PM »

Bashful Blue 1 is the radio call sign he was using that day. It consists of the call sign for the squadron, Bashful, followed by the section, Blue. A squadron was divided into two flights A and B. Originally each flight was divided into two sections of three aircraft. A Flight Red and Yellow Sections, B Flight Blue and Green Sections.  The aircraft in each section were numbered 1 to 3. This reflected the tactical formation the squadron flew - four sections of three aircraft in a V formation called a Vic. Usually the pilot leading the squadron was Red 1. I am not sure but I would guess that Blue 1 was usually the B Flight leader.

One of the lessons learned during the Battle of Britain was that the Vic formation was not suited for combat. As a result the same tactical formation as used by the Germans began to be adopted. This was based on pairs of aircraft and a squadron was divided into six pairs. These pairs of aircraft are also sometimes called sections. The extra two pairs/sections were called Black and White. Each aircraft in each pair/section was numbered 1 and 2. The system depended upon team work, a section leader if we can call him that and his wing man. While the call sign was not owned by a pilot, it depended upon the particular role he had that day, I should think that the adoption of the pair system led to pilots in practice having the same call sign on a very regular basis.   
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juliet1959
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 08:16:53 PM »

Thanks so much for sharing that Antoni. Dad didn't say much about the squadron in the MIddle East. He did send home an explanation when he was in the UK. In 1941 he said:

" A squadron consists of approximately 200 men divided into two flights of 100 each, each commanded by a Flight Lieutenant. Each smaller flight consists of 11 pilots and 9 machines, the extra two pilots being on leave in rotation, thus giving each man one week off in five. In addition we will have one day off every four days and 48 hours off every ten days, this physical and mental rest being absolutely necessary for each pilot. There are six pilots in each flight available to take off all the time, the remaining three being on rest, these six men being divided into three sections of two. One section is ready to be in the air in 90 seconds, the next section who were previously on 15 minutes then come up to the 90 second scale. The third section who are usually on 30 min availability then come up to 15. Of course in the event of some real action the whole squadron takes to the air. There are five section leaders in the flight. A section, by the way, is often three machines depending on the enemy target and the attack to be used. The leader is directed from the ground by radio to the enemy position and then the direction of the attack is left up to him. Garry and I are both section leaders in our flight and although it is a great responsibility when three machines are sent off, the knowledge that you can depend on any one man to do his best and that you are all operating as a complete unit is very reassuring to a leader."

I have been delighted by the interest, almost 200 downloads in just over a week and a very positive reaction from family as well. They are fascinated to read about their dear old Dad/Granddad. His six year old Great-grandson wanted to know if it had bombs and guns in the story and I said, one or two!

Cheers

Julie
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juliet1959
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 11:07:01 PM »

Hi guys

The book has had, to date 206 downloads from Smashwords and sold a few copies on Amazon. It has been accepted for Smashwords Premiere Catalogue which means that it will, eventually, be on the 'shelves' of the major ebook retailers such as Apple, Sony, Barnes and Noble etc.

I have a version that I have printed and sent to family members and it has photos in it, 485 squadron photos and Dad after the war etc. I didn't put the photos in the ebook as some didn't want our family photos on the internet.
I am looking for some reviews and ratings for the book on Smashwords and Amazon. Anyone who has read the book and does a short review/rating for me on either of these two sites is welcome to a PDF copy of the book with pictures. Just send me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you. It isn't a big file.

Many thanks

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Fathers-War-ebook/dp/B005SGYPG6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317836632&sr=1-1#_

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93757

  Cheers
Julie
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juliet1959
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 09:59:17 PM »

Just to let you know that "Our Father's War" is now FREE at Amazon. It has had 2500 downloads since late November and is #1 in the Kindle list for non-fiction, biography & memoir, military. It has had one 5 star review.

If you know anyone who has a Kindle and would like a free Christmas present about WWII, flying, the Mighty Spitfire etc. you will find it here:

 http://www.amazon.com/Our-Fathers-War-ebook/dp/B005SGYPG6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317836632&sr=1-1#_

Cheers
Julie
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figurefreaks
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 12:28:12 AM »

I just found this  Shocked ‚Ķthank you for sharing Julie.   Smiley

Cheers
Tom.  Wink
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