FIRST EDITION. The Maltese Spitfire. One Pilot, One Plane – Find Enemy Forces On Land And Sea By Sqdn. Ldr Harry Coldbeck DFC

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The author of this autobiography was a World War II pilot whose finest hour was spent, not in aerial combat, but flying a Spitfire painted a darker shade of blue – a reconnaissance PR Mk IV. His story starts in New Zealand and his early flying career with the RNZAF, and then moves through operational training in the UK at the outbreak of war, and a first posting to 66 Squadron RAF in 1941

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Coldbeck really wanted to fly bombers, but volunteered for photoreconnaissance and flew to Malta. His arrival there represented Britain’s sole means of searching for the Italian fleet and other enemy movements within the area bounded by Benghazi and Libya to the south, Tunisia to the west, Sardinia and Rome to the north, and Navarino to the east. The story is one of bravery and determination, but eventually Coldbeck’s luck ran out, and after baling out over the sea he was captured and spent the rest of the war in PoW camps in Italy and Germany. Pre-owned. Hardcover with a very good (price clipped) dustjacket – no tears. Very good, clean copy. Published by Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1997