Reviews of Buck McNair: Canadian Spitfire Ace, The Story of Group Captain R W McNair DSO, DFC & 2 Bars, Ld’H, CdG, RCAF. Buck McNair: Canadian Spitfire Ace, The Story of Group Captain R W McNair DSO, DFC & 2 Bars, Ld'H, CdG, RCAF [Norman Franks] on . *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Robert 'Buck' McNair came from Nova Scotia, the second of three sons born of a mix of Scottish and German parents. As a young man he became interested in flight. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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Robert 'Buck' McNair came from Nova Scotia, the second of three sons born of a mix of Scottish and German parents. As a young man he became interested in flight, and was lucky enough to be able to fly floatplanes off the Canadian lakes. When war came, he went through flight training in Canada, sailed to England, and in the summer of 1941 found himself with the newly formed 411 Squadron RCAF. Eventually this unit began flying sweeps over Northern France and he saw his first combat actions during that autumn. An aggressive fighter pilot, he was chosen by his Canadian CO to accompany him to the besieged island of Malta in the spring of 1942, to coincide with the arrival on that island of the first Spitfires. Almost before he found his feet, he was nearly killed in a bombing raid. In wartime Malta, there was no chance to recuperate and he had to continue flying which he did with distinction, gaining a number of victories and winning his first DFC.
Returning to England later in 1942, he saw action over Dieppe in August, and became a flight commander. After a break in Canada, he took command of 421 Squadron RCAF in the summer of 1943, leading his pilots in many sorties over France and gaining more victories and two more DFCs. Finally as a wing leader in early 1944 his leadership brought him the DSO. However, he had been injured on one sortie which forced him to bale out of a burning Spitfire, and he was taken off operations shortly before D-Day. His score of victories however, had reached 16, with others probably destroyed and damaged.
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The story of the fighter pilot the Red Baron himself sought to emulate . . . German air ace Oswald Boelcke was a national hero during World War I, and was the youngest captain in the German air force, decorated with the Pour Ie Merite while still only a lieutenant and with 40 aerial victories at the time of his death. He became a pilot shortly before the outbreak of the war, and when he was tragically killed in a flying accident during combat less than two-and-a-half years later not only was his name known all over the world but the whole of Germany mourned his passing. He established his reputation on the Western front first in reconnaissance, then in scouts, and, with Max Immelmann, he became the best known of the early German aces. After Immelmann’ s death, he was taken off flying and traveled to the Eastern front where he met a young pilot called Manfred von Richthofen. Transferred back to the Western Front in command of Jasta 2, when new small fighting units were formed he remembered von Richthofen and chose him as a pilot for his new Staffel. Boelcke was killed in October 1916, although not before the reputation of his unit, together with his own, had been firmly established forever. This absorbing biography was written with the blessing of Boelcke’s family. Professor Werner was given access to his letters and other papers, and presents here a rounded and fascinating portrait of a great airman and a remarkable soldier, who became known as the father of the German Jagdflieger. This new edition has been completely reoriginated while remaining faithful to the language of the time of its original translation from German in the 1930s.