Since its formation in 1977, over 22,000 military aircrew have joined the Aircrew Association (ACA), most of whom belong to local branches all over the UK and overseas. One of the most successful of these has been the Scottish Saltire Branch, which caters for members in the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Lothians area.
The members of this branch of the association have, between them, an extraordinary range of experience spanning the entire history of the Royal Air Force and their contributions to this book give a remarkable insight into the activities of those who flew military aircraft as members of the Royal Flying Corps in World War One and the RAF during the interwar years, the Second World War and the 60+ eventful years since 1945.
Those expecting to find exaggerated tales of derring-do will be disappointed, however, because the contributors to this modest volume have been careful to avoid “shooting a line” – a common accusation amongst aircrew when they suspect their colleagues are guilty of embroidering the truth. On the contrary, the stories contained in this book set out to give an honest portrayal of the challenges encountered by the pilots and other crewmembers of military aircraft in wartime and peacetime and as such they represent a worthwhile and valuable historical archive of first-hand material.
Those with an interest in the history of the Royal Air Force or aviation in general will find much to enjoy, whilst those who are new to these subjects will find it to be an excellent and very readable introduction.