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Royal Air Force Centenary 1918-2018
On April 1st 2018 the Royal Air Force will celebrate its first 100 years and to mark the occasion we are highlighting some of the books we have published reflecting many aspects of the RAF and the wide variety of roles played by its personnel - because those who actually fly the aircraft are supported by a complex network of skilled tradesmen, engineers, administrators, educators, security staff, etc,etc - who each make a vital contribution to the running of the Service as a whole.

Our books contain the personal recollections of RAF personnel from high-ranking officers to AC2's. Between them they provide a unique insight into the history of the Royal Air Force and those who have been proud to serve in its ranks over the past 100 years.

We also have books which record the history of particular RAF squadrons or military bases and these too highlight the role played by the RAF in wartime and peacetime, at home and overseas.

The books shown below are presented in no particular order but are all highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more about the history of the RAF.

Needless to say, they will also be of great interest to RAF veterans who may well have shared the experiences they describe.

The books listed below are by no means all of RAF titles. For a full listing please look in the military books section of our online bookshop.


Bull, Bombs & Britannias

bull, bombs & britannias by richard ling 3-d
ISBN 978-1-84683-182-9
by Richard Ling
A former Boy Entrant looks back on his globetrotting career with the RAF 1961-75 as an Armourer, bomb disposal expert and Bristol Britannia loadmaster

Looking Up at the Sky by C.B. 'Sid' Adcock

looking up at the sky by sid adcock (cover 3d)
ISBN 978-1-84683-184-3
by Group Captain C.B. 'Sid' Adcock
A former Hastings and VC10 pilot looks back on a 50-year career in the Royal Air Force 1960–2010

Twin Bases Remembered

Twin Bases by Norman Rose
ISBN 978-184683-174-4
by Norman Rose
A personal history of the RAF and USAF at Bentwaters & Woodbridge 1943-1993

Flying Boats, Fathers & Fate

Flying Boats, Fathers & Fate by Trevor Richter
ISBN 978-1-84683-168-3
by Trevor Richter
A tale of two RAF pilots in the Far East during World War IIand the remarkable coincidence that connected them

How I Became a Pathfinder Navigator

pathfinder navigator - peter saville [cover] 3d
ISBN 9781-84683-167-6
by Peter D Saville
My aircrew training and subsequent activities with No.35 Squadron RAF during and after World War II

My Life in Flying

my life in flying by steve masters [3d]
ISBN 1-84683-155-5
by Steve Masters
A personal reflection on three decades as a military & commercial pilot with the RAF and British Airways 1980-2013

A Royal Air Force Pilot's Tales

a royal air force pilots tales by harry m archer [3d]
ISBN 1-84683-152-0
by Harry M. Archer
A personal reflection on 30 years’ service with the RAF ~ 1950-80

The Avro Vulcan and Me

the avro vulcan and me by peter bunnett [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-148-2
by Peter Bunnett
A former RAF Airframe Mechanic’s recollections of a classic jet bomber aircraft

How I Got My Knees Brown

how i got my knees brown by rupert c extence [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-134-2
by Rupert C Extence
The Overseas Experiences of an Erk (RAF Serviceman) from Devonshire during World War Two

Wartime Jottings of an RAF Airman

wartime jottings of an raf airman (evans) cover
ISBN 1-84683-140-7
by Griffith J Evans
A young man's experiences in the Royal Air Force 1941-46

Jumping Beans

jumping beans by edward cartner [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-132-4
by Edward Cartner
Recollections of an ‘oddball’ Royal Air Force Unit contributed by former staff members of No.1 Parachute Training School (PTS)

Whitecap Two-Five

whitecap two-five [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-131-8
By Stephen R Davies
A Royal Air Force Policeman’s experiences at home and abroad, 1975-2000

Adventures of a Trenchard Brat

adventures of a trenchard brat [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-129-6
by Ken Bartrop
A former Royal Air Force Apprentice’s experiences before, during and after World War II

Salute... He Moves!

salute, he moves [product shot]
ISBN 1-84683-095-8
by Group Captain Peter Holland MBE 
A personal reflection on four decades with the Royal Air Force 1952-90

A Pilot's Notes

A Pilots Notes by Ian Rae
ISBN 1-84683-118-0

by Ian Rae

Poems of a World War 2 Royal Air Force Flying Instructor

Fairy Tales of an S.A.C.

fairy tales of an sac [product shot]
ISBN 1-84683-109-1

by John McGregor

A young airman’s experiences at RAF Thorney Island (and other exotic places) 1967-72

The Other Royal Air Force

the other raf [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-101-6

by Ray Clinton

An RAF airman's experiences in the UK and Egypt in the 1951-55

60 More Aviation Experiences

60 more aviation experiences [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-097-4
by Jack Burgess et al
Another collection of true stories by members of the Aircrew Association

RAF Police: The Great Escape Murders

raf police - great escape murders [cover]
ISBN 1-84683-086-9

by Stephen R Davies

An account of the postwar RAF Police investigation into the murders of 50 RAF POWs from Stalag Luft III in 1944

Looking Backwards Over Burma

looking backwards over burma 3
ISBN 1-84683-073-7
by Dennis Spencer DFC
A former Beaufighter navigator with 211 Squadron RAF recalls his full tour of duty on ops over Burma and Thailand in 1944/5

Halton Drums

halton drums
ISBN 1-84683-060-5
compiled by Keith Youldon
The History of the RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentice Pipe Band

Naafi, Knickers and Nijmegen

naafi knickers and nijmegen cov
ISBN 1-84683-071-0

by Joan Blackburn (formerly Ratcliff)

Adventures of a WRAF Airwoman 1959-63

Lost In Training

lost in training
ISBN 1-84683-066-4
by Harry Green 
By charting the final hours of a single Lancaster and its crew, this book pays tribute to the thousands of young RAF airmen killed during aircrew training in World War II

Erks On Parade

erks on parade 2
ISBN 1-84683-063-X
by Graham Wise
A humorous look at the life of an ordinary RAF Airman in the 1950s

Those Bloomin' Snowdrops!

snowdrops cover
ISBN 1-84683-057-5

edited by Stephen R Davies 

RAF Police officers recall amusing incidents witnessed in the line of duty

Gunnery Leader

gunnery leader by tom williams
ISBN 1-84683-040-0
by Tom Williams
The WW2 achievements of Wing Cdr Ken Bastin DFC

60 Aviation Experiences

60 aviation experiences 3d cover
ISBN 1-84683-028-1
edited by Jack Burgess
80+ years of aviation recalled by members of the Aircrew Association

The Long Haul

The Long Haul by William Bloxham
ISBN 1-84683-012-5
by William Bloxham
An aviator's memories of WW2 138 (Special Duties) Squadron and as a POW

A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race

A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race by Cy Grant
ISBN 1-84683-018-4
by Cy Grant
The wartime experiences of a West Indian officer in the RAF

From the Ground Up

From the Ground up by Alf Commons
ISBN 1-84683-015-X
by Alf Commons
Memoirs of a postwar RAF Technician (1946-69)

Serving with the Blues

Serving with the Blues by Peter Bradbury
ISBN 1-84683-011-7
by Peter Bradbury
Adventures of a former RAF Bandsman whos served with No.6 Regional Band MEAF and the RAF Central Band in the 1950s

Bluebelles on Parade

Bluebells on Parade by Robert C Bertie
ISBN 1-84683-017-6
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

RAF 'Plumber'

RAF Plumber by Michael Anderton
ISBN 1-84683-007-9
by Michael 'Andy' Anderton
Experiences with things that go bang ~ during 30 years as an RAF Armourer 1953-83

RAF National Service in Six Movements

National Service in Six Movements by Roy Taylor
ISBN 1-873203-98-5
by Roy Taylor
A RAF National Serviceman's experiences in the 1950s

National Service Erk

National Service Erk by Ron Swain
ISBN 1-84683-002-8
by Ron Swain
A conscripted airman’s experiences with 148 Squadron 1952-3

Circuses, Beats and Blenheims

Circuses Beats and Blenheims by Gordon Shackleton
ISBN 1-903953-98-7
by Gordon Shackleton
Memoirs of a World War II Blenheim pilot who flew with 114 Squadron RAF

Out of the Blue

Out Of the Blue by George Edwards
ISBN 1-873203-91-8
by George Edwards BEM
Adventures of a former RAF fireman at home and abroad 1965-2005

RAF Police Dogs on Patrol

RAF Police Dogs on Patrol by Stephen R Davies
ISBN 1-84683-000-1
by Stephen R Davies
A history of the training and deployment of Police Dogs by the Royal Air Force Police since 1942

Crash Boats of Gorleston

Crash Boats of Gorleston by Tony Overill
ISBN 1-903953-84-7

by Tony Overill
The WW2 exploits of of No.24 Air Sea Rescue Unit of the RAF Marine Branch

From Blue to Grey

From Blue to Grey edited by Fred Hoskins
ISBN 1-903953-72-3
Recollections of former members of 54 Entry, Royal Air Force College, Cranwell (1949-51)

Well, You Wanted to Fly!

Well You Wanted to Fly – Aircrew Association
ISBN 1-903953-80-4
edited by Jack Burgess
Aviation tales contributed by members of the Aircrew Association

As We Were

as we were - williams (cover 3d)
ISBN 1-903953-76-6

Beryl R Williams (ed.)

Former members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force recall their experiences in World War Two

From 1 to 1000 Horsepower

From 1 to 1000 Horsepower by Fergus Davidson
ISBN 1-903953-52-9

by Fergus Davidson

Experiences of a Scottish WW2 fighter pilot with 534, 91 and 229 Squadrons of the RAF

619 : The History of a Forgotten Squadron

619 squadron (cover 3d)
ISBN 1-903953-51-0

by Bryan Clark

The rediscovered history of a WW2 bomber squadron

A Virginian in Best Blue

a virginian in best blue by parke f smith (cover 3d)
ISBN 1-903953-61-8

by Parke F Smith

An American pilot's experiences in the RAF 1942-46

Why Did We Join?

why did we join
ISBN 1-903953-53-7

by Eileen Smith

An entertaining account of the author's wartime years as a WAAF at RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire

Carried on the Wind

carried on the wind
ISBN 1-903953-45-6

by Sean Feast

The wartime exploits of a Special Duties Operator with 101 Squadron

A History of RAF Waddington 1916-1945

raf waddington
ISBN 1-903953-44-8

by Raymond Leach

A detailed history of this important RAF base in Lincolnshire spanning two world wars

Wheels Up!

wheels up by bob price (cover 3d)
ISBN 1-903953-39-1

by Bob Price

A nostalgic recollection of the bygone era of the RAF Boy Entrant Scheme

An Erk's-Eye View

erks eye view
ISBN 1-903953-38-3

by Ted Mawdsley

Recalling the invaluable work of RAF Bomber Command groundcrew in WW2

The Battle of Britain: Victory & Defeat

victory and defeat 3d cover
ISBN 1-903953-40-5

by Jack Dixon

A detailed study of the controversial dismissal of Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding after the Battle of Britain

Hunt Like a Tiger

hunt like a tiger - docherty (cover 3d)
ISBN 1-903953-37-5

by Tom Docherty

Illustrated history of 230 Squadron and its Sunderland flying boats 1939-45

My 'Best Blue' Days

best blue days
ISBN 1-903953-36-7

by Reg Chiddick

Enjoyable account of the author's RAF National Service in the 1950s

A History of The King's / Queen's Flight

a history of the kings flight and the queens flight (cover 3d).indd
ISBN 1-903953-32-4

Sowerby & Frost (eds)

Chronicle of the elite RAF unit responsible for the air transport of the Royal Family from 1936-1995

From Port T to RAF Gan

port t to raf gan 3d cover
ISBN 1-873203-89-6

by Peter Doling

Colourful history of the remote military base at Addu Atoll in the Maldive Islands 1941-76

To Strive and not to Yield

to strive and not to yield by dennis west
ISBN 1-873203-95-0

by Dennis West

The activities of 626 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Berlin in WW2

On Laughter-Silvered Wings

on laughter silvered wings - kirkwood
ISBN 1-903953-23-5
by Howard A Hughes
Entertaining biography of charismatic Irish aviator Paddy Kirkwood ~ a WW2 bomber pilot and postwar airline captain with BEA

Tales of a Bomber Command WAAF

tales of a bomber command waaf by sylvia pickering
ISBN 1-903953-24-3

by Sylvia Pickering

 A former WAAF recalls life at wartime RAF bomber airfields Cottesmore and Coningsby

Algiers to Anzio with 72 & 111 Squadrons

algiers to anzio by greggs farish
ISBN 1-873203-68-3

by Greggs Farish and Mike McCaul

The diaries and letters of a Spitfire squadron Engineer Officer in Africa and Italy during WW2

Nobody Unprepared

nobody unprepared by vernon holland
ISBN 1-903953-15-4

by Vernon Holland

A record of the activities of 78 Squadron RAF Bomber Command in WW2

Seletar: Crowning Glory

seletar crowning glory by david taylor
ISBN 1-903953-16-2

by David Taylor

An informal history of RAF Seletar, the Royal Air Force base in Singapore, from its earliest origins to the departure of the RAF in 1971, illustrated with many vintage photos

Lambs in Blue

lambs in blue - rebecca barnett
ISBN 1-873203-37-3

by Rebecca Barnett

The adventures of three Tyneside lasses who joined the WAAF and were posted to Ceylon in WW2

The Spice of Flight

the spice of flight by richard pike
ISBN 1-873203-66-7

by Richard Pike

Experiences of a RAF pilot in various aircraft, from fast jets to helicopters, in the 1960s and 70s

Un Grand Bordel

un grand bordel by norman lee and geoffrey french
ISBN 1-903953-00-6

by Norman Lee & Geoffrey French

A 428 Sqn air gunner's adventures with the Maquis and US Special Forces after being shot down

Nobody's Hero

nobodys hero by bernard hart hallam
ISBN 1-873203-38-1

by Bernard Hart Hallam

Experiences of an RAF police officer in WW2 in the UK and subsequently France, Holland and Germany after D-Day

A Bird Over Berlin

a bird over berlin by tony bird dfc
ISBN 1-873203-74-8

by Tony Bird DFC

Experiences of a 61 Squadron Lancaster pilot who later became a POW at Stalag Luft III 

Coastal Command Pilot

Coastal Command Pilot by Ted Rayner
ISBN 1-873203-29-2

by Ted Rayner

WW2 experiences of a Hudson pilot with 269 Squadron in Norway, Iceland and Greenand

From Fiji to Balkan Skies

from fiji to balkan skies by dennis mccaig
ISBN 1-873203-47-0

by Dennis McCaig

The WW2 experiences of a 249 Squadron Spitfire/Mustang pilot 1943/4

Per Ardua Pro Patria

Per Ardua Pro Patria by Dennis Wiltshire
ISBN 1-873203-50-0

by Dennis Wiltshire

The traumatic experiences of an RAF airman in WW2

The RAF and Me

the raf and me by gordon frost
ISBN 1-873203-56-X

by Gordon Frost

Experiences of a former Stirling navigator with 570 Squadron at RAF Harwell during WW2

Training for Triumph

training for triumph by tom docherty
ISBN 1-873203-71-3

by Tom Docherty

An illustrated history of RAF aircrew training in the UK during WW2

Over Hell and High Water

Over Hell and High Water by Leslie Parsons
ISBN 1-873203-70-5

by Leslie Parsons

The author's two full tours as an RAF navigator in WW2 ~ with 622 Sqn in the UK and 99 Sqn in SE Asia


raf uxb - jenkinson
ISBN 1-873203-36-5

Jim Jenkinson (ed)

A collection of stories from former RAF Bomb Disposal personnel during WW2

In The Nick of Time

in the nick of time by nick berryman
ISBN 1-903953-12-X

by Nick Berryman

The experiences of an RAF pilot with 276 (Air Sea Rescue) Squadron in WW2

Operation Pharos

operation pharos
ISBN 1-873203-58-6

by Ken Rosam

A history of the WW2 Allied airbase on the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean

Meteor Eject!

meteor eject by nick carter
ISBN 1-873203-65-9

by Nick Carter

Former 257 Squadron RAF jet pilot recalls the Gloster Meteor, prototype ejector seats and much more...

Upside Down, Nothing on the Clock

upside down nothing on the clock
ISBN 1-873203-26-8
G/Cpt J.K. Walters (ed)
A collection of jokes and anecdotes contributed by RAF personnel

Bawdy Ballads & Dirty Ditties of the Wartime RAF

Bawdy Ballads and Dirty Ditties of the Wartime RAF
ISBN 1-873203-69-1
Harold Bennett (ed)

An unashamedly politically incorrect celebration of the ribald humour of RAF airmen during the Second World War