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First Light: The True Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies above Britain

Overview

"Wellum’s First Light deserves to be read for many years to come."
–The Times (of London)

High praise for England’s bestselling First Light . . .

"An extraordinarily gripping and powerful story."
–The Evening Standard (London)

"A work of exceptional quality . . . a passion and immediacy which make it compelling reading."
–Max Hastings, author of Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

"A remarkable book, ...

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Overview

"Wellum’s First Light deserves to be read for many years to come."
–The Times (of London)

High praise for England’s bestselling First Light . . .

"An extraordinarily gripping and powerful story."
–The Evening Standard (London)

"A work of exceptional quality . . . a passion and immediacy which make it compelling reading."
–Max Hastings, author of Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

"A remarkable book, amazingly fresh, honest, and modest . . . utterly gripping; it is without question one of the best books I have read in the last few years."
–Professor Richard Holmes, author of Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket

"Startlingly vivid recollections . . . this is air war at its most intense . . . his readers get a strong sense of immediacy."
–The Spectator (London)

"Geoffrey Wellum’s book is a wonderfully evocative find . . . a book for all ages and generations, a treasure."
–Daily Express (London)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471426271
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/7/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

GEOFFREY WELLUM was born in Walthamstow, England, and educated at Forest School. At age seventeen, he joined the RAF on a short-service commission in August 1939 and served with the 92nd Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. In March 1942 he joined the 65th Squadron as Flight Commander and, later that year, led a group of eight Spitfires in the relief of Malta during Operation Pedestal. He later served as a test pilot on Typhoon fighter planes and as a gunnery instructor until the end of the war. He remained with the RAF after the war, retiring in 1961 to take a position as a commodities broker in London. He now lives in Cornwall, England.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

Prologue.

Ab Initio.

Ad Astra.

Fighter Squadron.

First Light.

Mars, God of War.

Brief Encounter.

Parting Day.

Snappers About.

Convoy Pair.

Over There.

White Cliffs.

Twilight.

Beyond the Hill.

Return to the Fray.

Operation Pedestal.

White Clouds.

Epilogue.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2004

    Giving Respect to a Hitherto Unsung Hero of the RAF

    This is a very compelling book. I want to thank Mr. Wellum for helping to make real in my mind, the stresses that war places on you. In particular, while reading the chapter in which Mr. Wellum describes his chase of a Junkers 88 bomber in foul weather and his subsequent efforts to return to his airbase, I felt as if I were the cockpit with him, hoping that I'd get down safely and in one piece! Having read other books by and about the famous RAF aces (Bader, Tuck, and Paul Richey), I recommend this book very highly. It's very well-written and will give you a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by the Second World War generation. Thank you, Mr. Wellum, for your service and for this book. There are many more people than you may realize who are grateful for what you have written. Thank you again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    Outstanding

    I have read many personal BoB accounts over the years. This is defintely one of the very best. Geoff Wellum's history of schoolboy to seasoned fighter pilot in 18 months gives you a genuine insight. The Convoy Pair chapter puts you in the Spit's bucket seat with low cloud, driving rain and an increasing feeling of dread for the outcome. Very much recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2004

    Riding High with Boy Wellum

    An incredible autobiography of the making of a WWII RAF fighter pilot. One feels as if one is in the cockpit with Mr. Wellum. He presents his story with self-effacing honesty and good humor. An absolutely wonderful read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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