SIGNED EDITION. Spitfires Over Malta By Plt Off Paul Brennan DFC DFM And Plt Off Ray Ray Hesselyn DFM. Reproduced, With Additional Material, By Paul Lovell

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The Classic 1943 book was written by two Commonwealth pilots, one from Australia and one from New Zealand, about their personal experiences on Malta during the islands siege by German and Italian forces. With the consent of the Hesselyn family, Paul Lovell has produced this republished edition which, in addition to the original 100 pages, contains details of Operation Spotter which was the plan to transport sixteen pilots and their crated Spitfires to Gibraltar, where the aircraft were assembled under the cover of darkness, and then craned onto the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. The first attempt to launch the Spitfires ended in failure when the long-range fuel tanks were found not to be transferring fuel, so a return to Gibraltar was necessary to await an expert flown out from Supermarine. It was said this expert had left in such a hurry he was still wearing his evening dinner suit under his flying overalls when he arrived. The repairs carried out, the Spitfires were sailed to within 600 miles of Malta for the launch. This would be the first time these pilots, and the Spitfire had ever been flown from a carrier, and the first time the fighter version had been based outside of the UK

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The author has also written profiles of the 16 pilots involved, from first hand accounts, official and family records, including many previously unpublished photographs. Amongst the 16 were several who would become well known, pilots such as Sqn Ldr Stanley Grant, Flt Lt ‘Nip’ Heppell, Plt Off John Plagis and Flt Lt ‘Slim’ Yarra. Six of the sixteen were killed on Malta, and three others before the wars end, including one of the original authors Paul Brennan. Signed by Paul Lovell. First edition 2012 in publisher’s original colour illustrated card wrap covers [soft back]. 8vo. 9!4″ x 6!4″. Contains 373 printed pages of text with archive monochrome photographs throughout. In Fine condition, no dust wrapper as issued. SIGNED by the author to the title page ‘Best Wishes P. Lovell’. RAF losses were high, and in a later, now famous communication to the Air Ministry regarding pilots, Malta was described as ‘No place for beginners’. First published in 1943, now reproduced in its entirety, including profiles of the 16 pilots from first hand accounts, official and family records, including many photographs not previously published. Six of the pilots were killed on Malta and three others died before the final victory was won, including Paul Brennan. Provided and valued by a member of the PBFA. Paperback. Published by Birchington Roundabout 2012