Churning through them now and should make a good dent in the books over the next few weeks.
This book is Spitfires, Thunderbolts & Warm Beer by Philip D Caine. A few weeks ago I reviewed a book I thought would be a bit better, well I got my wish? This is that book.
The book follows Leroy Gover who during WW2 was a fighter pilot in Europe. What is different with this book compared to others lately, well Gover flew with the famed Eagle Squadrons who defended England before the USA entered the war.
At the time it was technically illegal for US citizens to fight in Europe but it didn’t deter people from smuggling themselves out of the country via Canada to fight the air war in the RAF. Flying spitfires and hurricanes they fought alongside members of the commonwealth to protect Great Britain from the German Luftwaffe and take the fight back to them after the battle of Britain.
I loved this part of the book as it was probably the best tale of these pilots I have come across. The book continues on with Gover eventually moving over to the USAAF and transitioning eventually (he was one of the only people to fly the Spitfire for the RAF & the USAAF) to the P47 Thunderbolt. This is something I had been dying to read about. The Thunderbolt is one of the less heard of aircraft from WW2. You always hear about the Mustang or the Spitfire or the B17 but you hardly hear about “The Jug”. It was a formidible aircraft back then, strong, rugged and just huge! I have stood next to one at a few different museums and could not get over the size im comparison to some of its sleeker looking cousins.
I love the fact that this book follows most of his diary time during the war and it seemed that it was no holds barred back then. A lot of his time flying for the Eagle Squadrons he was out partying and jumping around between the clubs in London visiting all his different “Acquaintences” (aka his girls) and even then it was a totally different time compared to what would be happening now. This sort of thing just would not happen in modern times. It would be a totally different experience to be fighting the war for another country, in a foreign land, being one of the only people around and being treated so well. Totally envious.
Highly recommend this book, kept me enthralled for the short period of time I had been reading it…. just not long enough!