Spitfire Books


Richard & David Atcherley of the RAF

Signed by Air Marshal Sir Richard Atcherley

  • Price: £ 125

Tucked-in handwritten letter signed by

Air Marshal Sir Richard ‘Batchy’ Atcherley KBE CB AFC

Published by Oldbourne. First edition 1960. 240 pages plus photographs.

Fine condition hardback book in a Very Good condition unclipped dustjacket, complete and bright but with some edgewear at the corners and folds. 

The letter, written on official stationary, is to the aviation author JWR Taylor and is undated though written prior to 1958 as it relates to Taylor’s book ‘Birthplace of Air Power’ about the Central Flying School (CFS) to which Atcherley contributed. It reads:

“It was Johnny Chick our Flight Commander, now Air Commodore retired and ARP Chief for Suffolk, living in Colchester.
I’ve since had his boy as a cadet under me at Cranwell.  He is a F/Lt now himself”.

The Atcherley brothers were legendary figures in the RAF. The identical twins rose rank by rank through outstanding wartime careers until AVM David Atcherley was posted missing in 1952 on a flight in a Meteor from Egypt to Nicosia, in circumstances which remain a mystery to this day and Air Marshal Sir Richard Atcherley retired in 1960 (and died in 1970).

Richard Atcherley was an exceptional pilot and was a member of the successful 1929 Schneider Trophy team and also won the Kings Cup Air Race. He was a squadron commander at the outbreak of WWII and became a senior commander in the Desert Air Force. He had a very colourful career and at one time kept a pet lion which he frequently took flying!  

The exploits and achievements of the Atcherleys are well and amusingly recounted in this interesting and scarce double biography and is enhanced by the letter with a seldom found ‘Batchy’ Atcherley signature.