Eagles of the RAF: The World War II Eagle Squadrons

Eagles of the RAF: The World War II Eagle Squadrons
National Defense University Press | 1991 | ISBN: 1782663886 | English | 434 pages | PDF | 21 MB

In this book, Colonel Philip D. Caine, US Air Force, tells how the Eagle Squadrons were formed, describes their RAF experiences, and evaluates their contribution to Britain's defense. Unlike other accounts, Eagles of the RAF is not simply a paean to the pilots as special heroes and "aces," though many performed heroically and some sacrificed their lives. Drawing almost exclusively on interviews with more than thirty-five surviving Eagles, on their letters and memoirs, and on official records of the squadrons, Caine shows who these men were and what drove them to endure the burdens of joining a foreign air force. We see them adjusting to life in a new country as they train, fly patrol and escort missions, and sit on alert in dispersal huts or in airplane cockpits. We see their routine suddenly shattered by the momentary chaos and exhilaration of aerial combat. The Eagles' story is a unique chapter in American military history; it deserves to be told as it really happened-not as romanticized by Hollywood or nostalgic recollection. Beyond reliably telling the story, Colonel Caine reveals much about why people enter the military, how military life satisfies or disappoints their preconceptions, and how at least some of them reacted to the realities of combat.
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