TEN FIGHTER BOYS

TEN FIGHTER BOYS

by Athol Forbes and 'Dizzy' Allen

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    Ten Fighter Boys ~ 66 Squadron RAF

    Published by Collins.  First edition, first printing 1942 .  176 pages plus photographic plates.

    A Very Good condition copy of this hardback book.  The clipped dustjacket is also in Very Good condition with some edge chips and some repairs and strengthening to the reverse.  A dustjacket for this book is scarce in any condition and it looks smart in a protective cover.  There is a tipped in additional photo of two of the pilots, Bodie and Kendal, to the blank reverse of one of the plates and also included is a Daily Telegraphy obituary of Dizzy Allen together with a list giving the full identities of the ten pilots who are only referred to in this book by their nicknames. 

    During the Battle of Britain an RAF Spitfire squadron commander asked some of his pilots to write about their combat experiences. The book was published in 1942 as ‘Ten Fighter Boys’, penned by ten pilots on 66 Squadron, most of whom had seen action in the Battle of Britain and later in fighter sweeps over France in 1941-2. By the time the book was published, three of the original authors were dead; by the end of 1942, only three of the ten were still alive. 

    Jimmy Corbin, who contributed Chapter 3 was the last survivor of the ten, living until 2012 and publishing his autobiography ‘Last of the Ten Fighter Boys’ in 2007.  

    The book and its narrative style are very much of their time: the language is colourful, irreverent and dramatic, but at the same time filled with the pathos and fatalism that is the preserve of the fighter pilot. There is a short dictionary of the ‘RAF Slang’ at the end of the book.

    This very scarce wartime first edition is an essential volume for the Battle of Britain bookshelf.