Books relating particularly to Elsham Wolds and 103 Sqdn.
103 Sqn Profile.
The book is now available or Amazon here
103 Sqn Profile.
A new book will shortly be available which documents the history of 103 Sqn during WW2. This has been written by well known author on Bomber Command subjects, Chris Ward. It will be published by Mention the War books and will be available from them and on Amazon in a month or two. This is the second in Chris Ward’s updated Sqn Profiles, the first being 617 Sqn published in autumn last year. Further details to follow when the book is available but it should not been too long now.
ETA: A Bomber Command Navigator Shot Down and on the Run
By Gordon Mellor. Published by Fighting High Publishing.
The author was a navigator with 103 Sqn in 1942. He was shot down in October 42 and baled out over Holland. The book describes his subsequent experiences whilst successfully evading from mainland Europe and returning to the UK
Available on Amazon here
Don Charlwood - Burgewood Books Publications.
No Moon Tonight:
2006 was the 50th anniversary of the publication of No Moon Tonight — Don Charlwood’s first book. In print continuously for those 50 years, it has received many accolades for its deeply personal and perceptive account of the Bomber Command experience during WWII. Charlwood was the navigator in a mixed English–Australian crew based at Elsham Wolds in England, at a time of very heavy losses. His account of the period and of the men of 103 Squadron, has been described as an elegy to the men of Bomber Command. Journalist Di Dempsey in the Brisbane Courier Mail included No Moon Tonight in her list of Five Great Australian War Books, and described it as one of Australia’s most moving war memoirs. It is published in England, and also available through Burgewood Books in Australia.
Journeys into Night:
This, the second book of the author's autobiography, was originally published in 1991 and is now published by Burgewood Books. It covers the years 1939 to 1945 — years of WWII. The author's Bomber Command experiences and those of the 19 men with whom he trained, are related in such detail that this book is much more than a memoir. Journeys into Night is notable for the clarity and power of its writing. Don Charlwood's wartime experiences -- travelling overseas, training, the tedium and terror of ops -- are recreated in vivid and moving detail. (Professor Elizabeth Webby). Journeys into Night won the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Vic) Christina Stead Award in 1991 and was the winner of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Vic) Herb Thomas Award for biography, autobiography or memoir, also in 1991.
Back Bearings - A Navigators Tale 1942 to 1974.
Eric Cropper’s RAF career started in 1943 and ended in 1968. It covered a period when the navigation of aircraft changed from astro, dead reckoning and drift bearings all plotted by pencil on charts, to press-button radio and satellite information that can instantly pinpoint a position anywhere on the planet to within 5 metres. The then vital skills of a good navigator are now mostly redundant. Ships, aircraft, trucks and cars seldom use maps let alone carry a navigator. This autobiography by one of the RAF’s top exponents of both the ancient and modern forms of the art explains in considerable detail how this rapid and revolutionary improvement occurred in the air.
This is a fascinating memoir of one of the RAF’s senior navigational experts that explains both service life and the revolution in navigational techniques that took place during his service career.
Click this link for details from the publishers Web Site - Back Bearings.
Other prominent Elsham Wolds, 103 Sqdn related publications
Black Swan - Sid Finn. A history of 103 Sq. Long out of print but may be available on the second hand book market. Includes some interesting background and photographs but is ruined by mistakes. Not proof read/checked adequately or indexed.
Just A Survivor - Phil Potts. Woodfield Publications. Excellent account by a former 103 Sq. navigator and POW.
An Erk’s Eye View of World War 2 - Ted Mawdsley. Woodfield Publications. Absorbing story of life in the RAF from a former Instrument Mechanic at Elsham Wolds.
Evader - Denys Teare. Burford Books Inc. Extraordinary and gripping story of a former 103 Sq. Air Bomber on the run in Occupied France in WW2.
Only Birds and Fools - Norman Ashton. Crowood Press. A former 103 Sq. Flight Engineer writes with humour and sensitivity about his wartime experiences.
A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race - Cy Grant. Woodfield Publications. Cy, a West Indian originally from British Guiana, travelled to England to join the RAF in 1941 and, after undergoing flying training and qualifying as a navigator, was posted in 1943 to No.103 Squadron, based at RAF Elsham Wolds. He was shot down and taken prisoner. The book relates the war and life as a POW from his own personal and unusual perspective. Cy’s memories of his eventful RAF years are narrated with modesty, charm and good humour and make for compelling and educational reading.
Shot Down – John Curnow. Pacific Press Publishing Assn. 103 Navigator 1942/43 POW and Escaper.
Flak and Ferrets – Walter Morison. Sentinel Publishing. 103 Pilot 1942 and POW and Escaper.
The Lives and Ken Wallis – Ian Hancock . Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. 103 Pilot 41/42. A most interesting book about a fascinating man.
Corkscrew to Safety - Thomas Quinlan. Woodfield Publishing. 103 Rear gunner. 1944/45.
No Flying without Wings - Colin Bayliss. 103 pilot 1942 and POW
If the Flak Doesn’t get you the Fighters Will - Brian Stoker. Newton. 103 Navigator. 1943
The Dancin’ Navigator - Jack Harding. Astertisk Communications. 103 Navigator 1943
Birbeck’s War - Jack Birbeck. Welland Print Ltd. 103 Air Bomber 1943 and POW.
Have No Fear BG Is Here - B G MacDonald. Published by B G MacDonald. 103 Air Gunner 1944.
Also of interest.
Bomber Intelligence - Bill Jones. William Kimber. Intelligence Officer at Elsham Wolds Kirmington and Hemswell.
High Endeavour- The life and times of Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman.by John Ivelaw-Chapman. For a short time RI-C was OC 13 Base. He was shot down in May 44 and became a POW till the end of the war.
A Selection of other books that give good general background to the history of Bomber Command in WW2.
The Bomber Command War Diaries - Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt. Midland Publishing.
The Nuremberg Raid - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.
The Peenemunde Raid - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.
The Berlin Raids - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.
The Battle of Hamburg - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.
A Shaky Do - The Skoda Works Raid 16/17 April 1943 by Peter W.Cunliffe.
This book is 256 pages+photos. A4 paperback. For further details and to order a copy see this link here
RAF Bomber Command Losses - All 8 Volumes - Bill Chorley. Midland Publishing.
The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945 - Jonathan Falconer. Sutton Publishing.
Selected For Aircrew - James Hampton. Air Research Publications.
David W Fell