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Thread: Coastal Command 1944-45: reading suggestions?

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    Default Coastal Command 1944-45: reading suggestions?

    My uncle trained as a pilot in Pensacola as part of the Towers Scheme, and I believe he was destined for seaplanes in Coastal Command though in fact he ended up in Stirlings and Halifaxes in the Mediterranean theatre. Knowing little about Coastal Command, I thought I'd use this to focus some initial reading on the "Cindarella" service. Accordingly, could anyone recommend either online or Kindle sources I could start with re e.g. Catalinas, Sunderlands, operational conditions, strategic role of CC summer 1944 to VE Day? I'm still travelling overseas so reliant on a phone for research for a while.

    Much appreciate any suggestions, thanks in advance.

    Pat

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    Pat, Hi,
    “Even The Birds Were Walking” by John A Kington & Peter G Rackliff (Tempus, ISBN 075242016X) will give you a rare insight into a little known aspect of Coastal Command work – particularly the meteorology leading up to D-Day. One of the authors (Peter Rackliff) has only recently died aged 94. It’s a good read!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks, Peter, will hunt it down.

    Pat

    Edit: not a Kindle option currently: will have to wait until I settle in a few months, alas!
    Last edited by Pat; 6th July 2019 at 07:03.

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    Hello,

    You could do a lot worse than take a look at this publication. My initial response was in the negative, but every time I re-read the book I find something new. An excellent primer:

    https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Air-For...2397585&sr=1.1

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th July 2019 at 01:21.

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    Will give it a go, thanks Col.

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    He may have been intended for Coastal Command, but Stirlings and Halifaxes in the Middle East at this stage point to the SOE (Special Operations Executive) which means agent dropping and supply dropping to partisans. The book you want is Flights of the Forgotten by Ken Merrick: try https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flights-For.../dp/1854090291.

    Other comments on SOE Halifax operations can be found on books about the Halifax, notably by Merrick also. There are a number of books dealing with the flights in support of the Warsaw uprising by these aircraft and others, but your uncle may have missed that. It is well worth reading about it anyway - as indeed are books about Coastal Command but I feel they will be irrelevant here.

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    Thanks, Graham - as it happens, his operational flying was all Special Duties: 624 Sqn out if Blida and then 148 Sqdn out of Brindisi. You clearly know your stuff! I wasn't very clear in my original post, I realise - it was Coastal Command being his initial destination which made me realise I know nothing about them, hence the request for CC reading.

    Thanks for the reply, though, I appreciate it.

    Pat

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello,

    You could do a lot worse than take a look at this publication. My initial response was in the negative, but every time I re-read the book I find something new. An excellent primer:

    https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Air-For...2397585&sr=1.1

    Col.
    Bought it, read it, and I agree - an excellent primer, thanks. Not a particularly easy linear read, but lots of info and a picture of the sharp end of CC ops. I suspect the format and focus inevitably masks some of the other challenges of the Command's role, like interminable fruitless patrolling; a worthy and instructive book nonetheless.

    Cheers, Pat

    PS posting this in case the thread comes up in someone else's search, really, but still open to suggestions...

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