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LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO CRY: The Inspirational Memoir of an Ace Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot [Hardcover]

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Item description for LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO CRY: The Inspirational Memoir of an Ace Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot by Tim Vigors...

It is not often that a remarkable gem of a manuscript is uncovered and published. Geoffrey Wellum's First Light was one example. The memoir of Timothy Ashmead Vigors is another. Born in Hatfield but raised in Eire and educated at Eton and Cranwell, early 1940 found Tim Vigors in France flying Fairey Battle bombers. After the Fall he converted to fighters joining 222 Squadron with whom he saw frantic and distinguished service over Dunkirk and then during the dangerous days of The Battle of Britain, when he became an ace. Transferred to the Far East in January 1941 as a flight commander with 243, thence to 453 Squadron RAAF, on 10th December he led a flight of Buffaloes to cover the sinking Prince of Wales and Repulse. Dramatically shot down, burnt and attacked on his parachute, he was evacuated to Java, and from there to India. And this is where his hand-written account ends. Throughout, the author describes his experiences in an honest, refreshing way. It is a fascinating and valuable record, one destined to be seen as a classic. Postwar, Tim was no less active primarily in the horse world, in Ireland and England, selling, breeding and consulting; but also in aviation, with his own company Vigors Aviation.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Grub Street
ISBN  1904943616  
ISBN13  9781904943617  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Military > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Biographies
5Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > Aviation
7Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General

Reviews - What do customers think about LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO CRY: The Inspirational Memoir of an Ace Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot?

Life's Too Short to Cry - Tim Vigors  Jun 7, 2007
With memories of Geoffrey Wellum's recent book 'First Light', I was excited to find that a new Second World War RAF pilot's autobiography had been published so recently as 2006. I found the facts of the book most interesting, but it lacks tension and literary style, and I never found myself wanting to read on and on, as with Wellum and many other authors. As a keen student of the great Douglas Bader, I was fascinated by Vigors' references to their flying together, at a time when Bader was developing his ideas on tactics and leadership. To be fair, Tim's death came before his book could be properly edited, and it is well worth reading for the history surrounding the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and the Royal Navy's lack of understanding of air power, despite the lessons learned in Europe.
A Delightful Story with Unique Insights  Mar 1, 2007
This memoir of a fighter pilot in World War II left me with several thoughts.

First was the thought that no matter how good you were, fate or luck or whatever had a lot to do with your survival. One time with almost no warning the Germans were bombing their air field. They were emergency scrambling to get airborne. Some of the Spitfires were hit by German bombs. They paid no attention as to how good a pilot you were. In another instance Vigors was scheduled to fly somewhere on a transport aircraft. He got bumped off the flight by a general. The plane was shot down, no survivors.

Second there's an interesting insight to the loss of the 'Prince of Wales' and 'Repulse.' Vigors was the commander of the squadron that was to provide them with continuous dawn to dusk air cover. Admiral Phillips took his two ships to sea without telling the Air Force. You have to presume that he was one of the Battleship Admirals who refused to believe that his majestic, powerful ship could be hurt by those pesky little aircraft. He went down with his ship.

Finally I find myself wondering about his love life. In England he was in love with the beautiful Jil. In Singapore there is a comment that he married Jan. The manuscript for the book was found after his death and submitted for publication by his widow Diana. Way to go flyboy.

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