Spitfire Books
The Last of the Knights. pilot signed aviation memorabilia


From General Adolf Galland's library

Signed by Lt Col James Goodson to Adolf Galland

  • Price: Serious offers invited until 31st July 2024


There are some aviation books that are so rare and highly sought after by collectors
from all over the world that it would be unfair to sell such a book on a ‘first come’ basis.

Therefore, each calendar month, Spitfire Books offers a rare aviation book for sale
and invites collectors to submit a ‘best offer’ during the month by email or telephone

Presentation copy to General Adolf Galland

Inscribed & signed by Colonel James Goodson on the title page

To General Adolf Galland
‘The Last of the Knights!’
With the greatest respect
Jim Goodson

Harrop Press First edition 1990. 192 pages and well illustrated with photographs

Fine condition hardback book and Fine condition unclipped dustjacket. Clean, bright, tight and unmarked. A superb copy.  Included is a card featuring the cover painting (Galland and Goodson in combat) which fits neatly inside the book.  It also has a certificate of authenticity signed by Galland’s son Andreas. It certifies that the book came from his father’s collection.

James Goodson was one of the first US volunteers to join the RAF Eagle Squadrons and he flew in continuous combat in Hurricanes and Spitfires before transferring to the US 4th Fighter Group flying Thunderbolts and Mustangs.  Goodson is credited with 32 enemy aircraft before being shot down himself and this  story is told in his highly regarded book ‘Tumult in the Clouds’.

‘The Last of the Knights’ continues Goodson’s story. Shot down over Germany, Goodson is captured and condemned to death by the Gestapo. Talking his way out of it, he is sent to Stalag Luft III where he is incarcerated until the ordeal of ‘The Long March’ at the close of the war.  This is the account of his incredible adventures, his escape and some post war experiences and exciting combat reminiscences.

In the last chapter of the book, called ‘The Last of the Knights’, he recounts a visit to a Luftwaffe re-union in Munich in around 1980 where he meets many of the German aces and retells some of their stories. This book which started in the despair of the prison camps ends with a note of hope that men can fight for their country when necessary but still respect each other and their professional achievements.  He writes:

Adolf Galland put it another way when he stood up to deliver his speech at the final dinner of the re-union.  He looked out over the Luftwaffe pilots who had followed him with devotion, over the Spaniards who had fought with him from the very beginning, over the Hungarians, Italians, Romanians and the rest; over the British, Americans, Czechs and Poles who had fought him, sometimes with hatred and sometimes with fear, but always with respect.  Slowly he raised his glass.

“Gentlemen, we have with us tonight men of many nationalities who have fought on different sides,
but we have one thing in common;
we fought for our country with courage, sincerity and chivalry.
Gentlemen, to you! You were the last of the Knights!”

A fascinating and very readable book by one of the most successful and colourful characters in the USAAF, made exceptional by being a presentation copy to the Luftwaffe legend that was Adolf ‘Dolfo’ Galland.  A unique and highly collectable signed aviation book with outstanding provenance to add to any aviation library.