Raw Courage: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of Four RAF Brothers in Arms (Fictional Characters and Real Events)

By Norman Franks

This is often the pleasing tale of the 4 uncooked brothers, all of whom served with the Royal Air strength. The eldest 3 flew in the course of WW2 and all 3 died.

The youngest, now not sufficiently old to work out wartime flying, flew night-fighters within the postwar years, finishing up flying Spitfires with the conflict of england Memorial Flight. The eldest brother, John, was once killed in a flying coincidence simply as he was once beginning a task as a flying teacher, in 1941. Peter used to be a fighter pilot, flying Typhoons with 609 Squadron, profitable the DFC. unfortunately he was once killed in motion with 183 Squadron in 1944. Tony flew Hampden and Lancaster bombers, obtained the DFC and AFC, yet was once additionally killed in motion in 1944.

Their father were a naval officer, serving frequently in destroyers in WW1, profitable the DSC. He remained within the army publish conflict to develop into a commander yet then turned a barrister at legislations earlier than his premature dying in 1932. All 4 boys saved up a fit and loving correspondence with their mom, correct from their time at Wellington college, till their passing.

The ebook tells in their lives via those letters, written at a time whilst humans wrote nearly day-by-day to one another, if just a couple of traces. it's a touching memorial to 4 younger males who served their kingdom and its air strength good. unfortunately too, Michael, whose RAF profession introduced him the AFC, died of melanoma in 1986, yet all 4 left dwelling testaments to their younger lives and gallantry as RAF pilots in conflict and peace.

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The subsequent letter is dated 7 February 1944 and mentions Bruce Cole back: ‘You might be shocked to listen to outdated Bruce rang up the day before today and we are hoping he's coming to work out us this day. He has 3 weeks go away, so i feel i'll go away this letter open so i will be able to let you know all his information. ‘The geese were laying each day. We had seven eggs the day past and so i'm placing a few down now. Pete is happy, incidentally, and hasn’t long past but [to his new posting], it was once cancelled and he's ready till he can visit a station with the planes he wishes – Hawker’s insist upon it. Pat likes her activity [at a medical institution for convalescent young ones in Woking] greatly, she appears wonderful the matron. ’ Later: ‘Bruce got here and he seems rather well yet thinner. He was once very blissful to be domestic in England. He obtained us plenty of fragrance, powder and lipstick, and desires to take us to the theatre. after all, Pete has organised all types of items for him and that i think they're going as much as see Tony the next day. Bruce stated anything approximately having an eye for you however it used to be a section imprecise so i wouldn't expect it if I have been you. ‘He goes to stick right here for a number of nights so possibly you might want to write to him and say how pleased you're that he's domestic. He had 3 slender squeaks: as soon as shot all down one facet and once more within the knee and in basic terms simply made the seashore along with his aircraft whilst his engine failed. once more he begun working, pondering he had landed the place the Germans have been yet to his pride chanced on the american citizens had simply moved in. He has shot down 4 Stukas. ’2 In February 1944, Michael used to be simply months in need of his 16th birthday, and it used to be time for him to begin heavily to think about his destiny. even though he nonetheless had extra years to move sooner than he would go away Wellington, they might be an important years in which time his profession direction would have to be mapped out. On 10 February, his headmaster, Mr A J Pirie, wrote to his mom with all this in brain: ‘Michael and that i talked the previous day, partially approximately his paintings and partially approximately attainable futures, i feel that he sees how to get on now along with his paintings and to make sure getting a certificates. ‘As to his destiny, we mentioned no finish of items jointly. He relatively now seems favouring the air strength rather than the military, yet even supposing I didn’t inform him, i believe no small sympathy along with his mom and the chance of Michael going into the air strength to boot. after all, by the point Michael is sufficiently old, we don’t understand no matter if Cranwell might be all started back or what the stipulations of access could be. I advised Michael he was once to not fear one little bit approximately finding out as to the longer term; that as he obtained older his horizons might develop and he could steadily see what he desired to do. this is often certainly the case. really very likely, through subsequent September even, he'll be significantly clearer in his personal brain. ‘We additionally noted many different issues, and that i do are looking to guarantee you, if any coverage is required, that Michael is de facto an incredibly sound younger fellow. His younger personality is of actually sterling caliber, and he'll make a truly nice guy whilst he grows up.

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