‘You can see in his face the delight of being able to fly. It is one of the faces of those who fight wars they do not make and for whom flying and life are one: the faces of those who should be watched, the faces of the young.’
With new introduction by Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Bomber Boys: Fighting Back 1940-1945.
We are excited to announce the release of The Complete Flying Officer X stories by H. E. Bates, which we are offering free for the whole month of November.
The Flying Officer X stories were written by Bates in his unprecedented role as an official war writer with the R.A.F. during WWII, where he animates the realities faced by pilots tasked with protecting the skies from enemy aircraft. Bloomsbury Reader is excited to collect these stories into one volume for the first time, including a new introduction by Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Bomber Boys: Fighting Back 1940-1945. Bishop explains that ‘Bates’s job was not to analyse operational shortcomings but to anatomise – and celebrate – the character of those doing the flying and dying.’
The resulting stories that appeared under the pseudonym Flying Officer X are portraits of individual pilots narrated by an observer who, like Bates, is on the inside of the air force without being a pilot.
These portraits recount the personal history of the pilots, and convey the individual qualities and forces that motivate them. They blend the action and suspense of aerial battles, friendships cut off too soon, and life enduring against all odds.
In true Bates style, the New York Times noted ‘These are tales told in impressive quiet, tales that are innocent of even the suggestion of flagrant heroism that colors so many stories about combat pilots.’
Click here to get your free ebook copy of this wonderful collection of stories.