Hilling, John B. Foreword by Group Captain T.G. 'Hamish' Mahaddie.
Title STRIKE HARD: A BOMBER AIRFIELD AT WAR. RAF DOWNHAM MARKET AND ITS SQUADRONS 1942-46.
Publisher Budding / Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1997, reprint.
Seller ID 22481
141 pp, large 8vo (9 3/4" H), hard cover in dust jacket. B&w photographs, maps, etc. ISBN 1840150017 "This is an account of one small cog in the machinery of the Second World War - the story of the RAF bomber airfield at Downham Market in Norfolk . Every night for three long years young men of RAF Bomber Command flew from this East Anglian airfield in their Stirlings, Lancasters and Mosquitoes to pound into dust the might of Nazi Germany. Their contribution towards winning the war w a s c r u c ial, but the cost in precious lives and equipment was high: 160 aircraft and nearly 900 airmen were lost on operations. Downham Market was notable in a number of ways, not least for the fact that two posthumous Victoria Crosses were wo n by it s pi lo ts (out of a total of only twenty-one for the whole of Bomber Command), and that it was the second of fifteen airfields in England to be equipped with the life-saving fog dispersal device known as FIDO. It was from Downham Mark e t t ha t t h e R AF 's las t bombing sortie of the European air war was flown on 2/3 May 1945. Between 1942 and 1945 at various times the airfield hosted six bomber squadrons: Nos 214, 218 and 623 were Main Force squadrons in No 3 Group, and then f rom Mar ch 1 94 4 No s 5 71, 608 and 635 were a part of the RAF's elite No 8 (Pathfinder) Group. 'Strike Hard' is not so much a chronological history, but a microcosm of Bomber Command during the war years. Supported by more than fifty photog rap hs, maps and pla ns, e ach chap ter f ocuses on a separate aspect of life on the airfield, and of the bomber operations flown from there. The author has drawn on a number of sources, ranging from official to published and private material, to give a f ascin ating dep iction of a bom ber ai rfield at war." Very small bump at bottom of spine. Dust jacket has very minor edge wrinkling. Near Fine/Near Fine