Books

FICTION 

  • Biggles by Capt. W.E. Johns. A series of 96 books written between 1932 and 1968, following the stirring adventures of James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth as he flies Sopwith Camels in WW I, Spitfires and Hurricanes in WW II, eventually graduating to Hawker Hunter jets in a post-war story. Early books cover the transition from the RFC to the RAF.
  • Bluebelles on Parade by Robert C Bertie. The battle of the sexes comes to a postwar RAF station when the ladies take on the men in a parade ground drill competition.
  • Fightigator by John Forbes. An F4 Phantom crew from RAF Leuchars face a dangerous adversary in a Cold War action/spy thriller.
  • Flagship March by Robert C Bertie. The battle of the sexes continues at RAF March in a sequel to Bluebelles on Parade.
  • For Freedom and Honour by James R.S. Black. Set in WWII, following the fortunes of an RAF Spitfire pilot from Perthshire in Scotland.
  • From Waafs to Riches by Robert C Bertie. The final instalment in the Bill Barrett / Bluebelles series.    
  • Safari Mzuri by Brian J. Elliott. RAF National Servicemen have a wild time in 1960's Kenya
  • The Cry of the Nightjar by Gerhard Heilig. A fictionalised but highly realistic account of the life of a WW II bomber pilot.
  • The Hamburg Dossier by John Law. A retired RAF Police officer returns to Germany to reinvestigate a 50-year-old murder mystery.
  • The Impotence of Being Charlie by Charles Gonda. Romance and skulduggery on a postwar RAF air base.
  • The Summer House by Jutta Tyler. An RAF crew are involved in the Berlin airlift of 1948/49.

 

POETRY

  • Air Force Poetry edited by J. Pudney & H. Treece. Short collection of poems by RAF servicemen, some of whom had already been killed in action at the time of publication in 1944.

Non-Fiction

  • Spitfire Ace by Gordon Olive, DFC. Life as a Battle of Britain fighter pilot, including excellent colour photographs.
  • Fighter Pilot by Helen Doe. Written by his daughter, this is an account of the wartime experience of celebrated pilot, Bob Doe.
  • A Spitfire Pilot’s Story by Dennis Newton. The story of Pat Hughes, a Battle of Britain top gun.
  • Gun Button to Fire by Tom Neil. A Hurricane pilot’s experience of the battle of Britain.
  • The Few by Dilip Sarkar. The history of the Battle of Britain in the words of the pilots.
  • Fighter Boy by Barry Sutton. Account of what it felt like to be a young pilot in the Battle of Britain.
  • Spitfire Pilot by Roger Hall, DFC. Memoir recounting Hall’s experiences of air to air combat and the stress, fatigue and fear experienced during aerial combat.
  •  Spitfire! by Brian Lane, DFC. A vivid account of the experiences of a Battle of Britain fighter pilot.
  •  Fighter Ace by Dilip Sarkar. The extraordinary life of Battle of Britain hero, Douglas Bader.
  •  Last of the Few by Dilip Sarkar 18 spitfire and Hurricane pilots recount their experiences of combat during the Battle of Britain.
  •  Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Britain by Henry Buckton- each step of the battle is examined, along with the key players and strategies that led to Britain’s famous victory.
  •  Battle of Britain Voices by Jonathan Reeve. 45 fighter pilots tell their extraordinary stories of the Battle of Britain.
  •  Life as a Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot by Hannah Holman. The story of fighter pilot Arthur Donahue, DFC, who was killed in action in 1942.
  •  Their Finest Hour: Stories From the Men Who won the Battle of Britain by Nick Thomas. Fascinating stories of six of Churchill's 'Few', each of whom played an important part in the Battle of Britain.
  •  The Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho by Robert Lymon. Story of the famous bombing raid to free members of the French resistance in 1944.
  •  Tartan Air Force by Deborah Lake. Investigates Scotland’s contribution to military flying over the last 100 years.

Film

WORLD WAR I

  • The Dawn Patrol (1930) The trials and tribulations of a beleaguered RFC squadron during WW I. The film was remade in 1938 as a vehicle for Errol Flynn.
  • Biggles: Adventures in Time (1986) Sci-fi adventure in which a time traveller from the 1980’s travels back to WW I to help the character Biggles.

 

WORLD WAR II

  • The Lion Has Wings (1939) An early WW II film about RAF mobilisation.
  • Clouds Over Europe (1939) Foreign spies are suspected in the disappearance of a secret aircraft.
  • Bombsight Stolen (1941) The Scottish inventor of a bomb-sight is kidnapped by Nazi agents.
  • Dangerous Moonlight (1941) The adventures of a Polish pilot during the Battle of Britain.
  • Target For Tonight (1941) The planning and implementation of an RAF night raid on an oil storage facility near the Rhine.
  • Eagle Squadron (1942) American film inspired by the US pilots who volunteered to fly for the Royal Air Force before the United States entered World War II.
  • Desperate Journey (1942) An RAF bomber crew escape Nazi Germany through the Netherlands.
  • The First of the Few (1942) The story of R.J. Mitchell’s development of the Spitfire.
  • One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942) A Wellington bomber crew is helped to escape by Dutch citizens.
  • Squadron Leader X (1943) A Luftwaffe pilot attempts to pass himself off as an RAF officer.
  • The Way to the Stars (1945) Life on a British bomber base from the Battle of Britain to the arrival of American pilots.
  • Journey Together (1946) The story of three RAF pilots from training to combat.
  • A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Fantasy/romance about a Lancaster bomber pilot who appears to cheat death.
  • Landfall (1949). A coastal command pilot patrolling the English Channel for U-Boats sinks what he believes is a German submarine, but which later proves to be British.
  • Angels One Five (1952) Centres on a young fighter pilot immediately before and during the Battle of Britain.
  • Appointment in London (1953) Tells of a wing commander's attempt to finish his third and final tour of 30 operations.
  • Malta Story (1953) Based on the RAF’s heroic air actions during the Siege of Malta .
  • The Purple Plain (1954) An RCAF pilot serves with the RAF during the Burma campaign.
  • The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954) An RAF air/sea rescue of a British aircraft, ditched in the North Sea.
  • The Dambusters (1955) The RAF attempt to destroy dams in Nazi Germany with bouncing bombs.
  • Reach for the Sky (1956) British biographical film about famous amputee aviator and RAF pilot Douglas Bader.
  • The Story of One Fighter (1958) A Polish film following the exploits of a Polish fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain.
  • 633 Squadron (1964) An RAF squadron attempt to destroy a V2 rocket fuel factory in occupied Norway.

Television

FICTION

  • Pathfinders (1972–73 ITV) Drama set during the Second World War, telling the story of the fictitious Royal Air Force 192 Pathfinder squadron.
  • Piece of Cake (1988 ITV) Experiences of RAF fighter pilots during the first year of WWII.
  • P.O.W (2003 ITV) Set in Germany in 1940 and follows the adventures of an RAF pilot after he is captured when his plane crashes during a bombing raid over Normandy.

 

Non-fiction 

  • Fifty Years of the RAF (1968 BBC 1) Documentary marking the half centenary of the RAF.
  • Spitfire: Two Seconds to Kill (1976 BBC 1) Featuring interviews with many of those who built and flew the plane during the Battle of Britain, including Douglas Bader.
  • Spitfire: Forty Years On (1976 BBC 1) Examining the development of the Spitfire and its role in WW II.
  • Fighter Pilot (1981 BBC 1) Eight-part documentary series following six candidates as they go through the three year fast jet pilot training programme.
  • Inside Story, The Spitfire (1987 BBC 1) Revisiting Castle Bromwich, the largest source of Spitfire production during WW II.
  • Timewatch: WWI Aces Falling (2009 BBC 2) The story of Edward Manock and James McCudden, two of Britain’s fighter aces in WWI.
  • Battlefield Britain: The Battle of Britain (2010 BBC 4) Peter and Dan Snow present a blow by blow account of the battle and how the RAF held off the might of the Luftwaffe.
  • The Battle of Britain (2010 BBC 4) Colin and Ewan McGregor take viewers through the key moments of the Battle of Britain.
  • Battle of Britain: The Real Story (2010 BBC 2) A fresh analysis of the Battle of Britain, exploring the lesser told German point of view.
  • First Light (2010 BBC 2) Documentary/drama focusing on Geoffrey Wellum, one of the youngest Spitfire pilots to go into combat in the Battle of Britain at age 18.
  • Spitfire Women (2010 BBC 4) Telling the little known story of the female pilots who fought against all odds for the right to aid the war effort.
  • Wellington Bomber (2010 BBC 4) Bolt-by-bolt attempt to build a Wellington bomber from scratch in a single day.
  • Battle of Britain: The South Coast Trail (2010 BBC 4) Military historian Howard Tucker travels along the south coast uncovering one of the most terrifying, planned invasions of Britain.
  • Battle of Britain Night: Gathering Storm (2010 BBC 4) Investigates how Britain prepared for a war in the sky, experiences of air combat and strengths and weaknesses of the RAF and Luftwaffe.
  • Battle of Britain Night: Aftermath (2010 BBC 4) Explores why the Battle of Britain has such legendary status and how the present RAF came to be defined by the events of 1940.
  • Operation Jericho (2011 BBC 2) Martin Shaw takes to the air to rediscover one of the most audacious and daring raids of World War II.
  • Bomber Boys (2012 BBC 1) Focussing primarily on the men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe.
  • The Spitfire: Britain’s Flying Past (2012 BBC 2) Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Spitfire and following the story of a Spitfire from birth to retirement.
  • Inside RAF Brize Norton (2013 SKY) Eight-part series looking inside the famous RAF base.
  • The Plane That Saved Britain (2013 CH 4) Story of the Mosquito, the light, fast plywood plane that played a vital role in WWII.
  • The Dambuster’s Great Escape: Secret History (2014 CH 4) The story of how two RAF squadrons sunk the German battleship Tirpitz after 34 failed attempts.
  • The Lancaster: Britain’s Flying Past (2014 BBC 2) A celebration of the Lancaster bomber, the plane that some people believe won WWII.
  • Guy Martin: The Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber (2014 CH 4) A team of engineers prepare the last airworthy Vulcan bomber for its farewell tour.
  • Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF (2015 BBC 2) Action-packed series focusing on the RAF’s display teams, including the Red Arrows.
  • Skies Above Britain (2016 BBC 2)- documentary series examining the human stories of modern day air traffic control, the RAF and Search and Rescue services.
  • Dunkirk: The New Evidence (2017 CH 4) New evidence reveals the hidden story of the key role of the RAF in the famous evacuation.
  • RAF at 100 (2018 BBC 1) Ewan and Colin McGregor celebrate the centenary of the RAF, uncovering little known stories of bravery and brilliance.