From Fury to Phantom – An RAF pilots story 1936-1970 Group Captain Richard
Haine, OBE, DFC Pen & Sword – Aviation £19.99 Website: www. pen-and-sword. co. uk
This is the story of a pilot from the day he joined the RAF as a prospective Sergeant pilot to the day he retired as a Group Captain.
Although Haine’s logbook would give him information regarding his flying activities, the amount of additional detail added regarding his service and private life is incredible. Because of this, the book service in the RAF will be on familiar ground here.
Makes for fascinating reading. Anyone who has experienced
Haine’s flying career began with learning to fly at a private flying club, in his case in a Gipsy Moth. With the impending hostilities he was accepted as a direct entry Sergeant pilot, and so his training as a pilot to RAF standards began.
I have no intention of covering all his subsequent activities, but I will say that I am sure they will rekindle forgotten memories for many of you, they certainly did for me. Haine’s recollections of RAF Habbaniyah, Bahrain and Shaiba, plus a strange little place called Cliffe Pipard, were familiar. This man did everything, knew everybody, went everywhere and seemingly flew everything. The list of aircraft he flew runs to 94 types and subtypes and he also flew as second pilot in another 17. Add to that the 52 units and appointments that were part of his service life and you can see he was not an ordinary career officer.
My only concern is how can anyone with such a hectic life ever quietly retire. I have read a few memoirs, but never one quite like this.
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