Item description for Tempest Pilot by C. J. Sheddan...
Jimmy Sheddan was one of the many New Zealanders who joined the RNZAF then left his native land to come to England to fight the enemies of Great Britain during World War II. Despite their size of population, New Zealanders rose to the challenge in great numbers, and the recollections of Jim Sheddan demonstrate some of the trials and wartime tribulations that they faced.
However Sheddan also discusses the fun these men had despite the dangers and sacrifices of war. Sheddan rose from the rank of Sergeant Pilot to Squadron Leader with 486 Squadron. He became an exponent of the Hawker Tempest, winning the DFC.
He survived 19 hours in a dinghy off the French coast, a crash landing in a Tempest following a battle with a V1 flying bomb, and the advance across northern Europe in the final weeks of the war. This is his story.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.43" Width: 5.35" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.71 lbs.
Publisher Grub Street
ISBN 1904010385 ISBN13 9781904010388
Reviews - What do customers think about Tempest Pilot?
Seat of your pants flying Jul 7, 2007
It's been a while since I read this book but it deserves some sort of a review and a rating. Books about flying the Hawker Tempest in WWII aren't exactly thick on the ground and the same applies to memoirs written by pilots from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. As time passes this is slowly changing as more stories are recorded but for the time being this book will be, and will probably remain, one of the best around.
The Tempest was right on the edge of how far piston engined aircraft could be developed. It was incredibly fast and could hold its own against the jets the Germans were beginning to field towards the end of the war.
The book, co-written with WWII aviation authority Norman Franks, follows the usual pattern of following Mr Sheddan's early childhood and family history, his education and eventual enlisting, training and postings to squadrons. The writing is easy to follow but quite descriptive and the operational side of things is well described but you don't have to be well-versed in WWII knowledge to make sense of what's going on. The end notes include an essay written by Mr Sheddan about using the Tempest in combat effectively which only serves to hammer home the impression that this man was the consummate professional and leader.
If you collect these type of books like me, have a passing interest in the aviation side of WWII or would like to read one of these books that shows a Kiwi viewpoint of the air war over Europe, give this book a go. You won't be disappointed.