*****A teen-age girl survives World War II *****
Terry Smith was a teenager attending art school in a London suburb when World War II began.
Before it was over, her family would be bombed out of three homes, her fiancé would be killed fighting Rommel's forces in North Africa, and she would join the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force). She was stationed in the Operations Rooms on seven RAF (Royal Air Force) bases, including Speke, Northolt, Uxbridge, Tangmere, Blackgang (Isle of Wight), Ford, and Norfolk.
During the war she encountered RAF legends Douglas Bader and Leonard Cheshire as well as the indomitable Winston Churchill. Her memories of life on RAF bases from the perspective of a WAAF provides a unique window into this great conflict. Her work with "the big secret" (radar), early in the war was something she couldn't even discuss with family.
In this memoir, Terry Smith recounts life in England leading up to the war, her six years of service during the war, and life in a recovering England in which she served as a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) hostess on proving flights to Africa --where former German POWs still serviced BOAC planes two years after the war -- and the Far East. She ran into glass ceilings that stymied advancement in the WAAF and for women in general, with the BOAC, and with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). In many ways her recollections are those of most women of the WWII era: death, destruction, working for their war effort and surviving.
An American flyer, Harold Carver, who billeted with her family was shot down and sent to Stalag Luft 1. Sixty years later, Terry Smith and that pilot would be reunited in America. A grand gift in memories, yes, but not the end of the story.
Terry Smith Doster is still with us, spirited as ever, What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. She is of an admirable generation who believed in that deeply.
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|Publisher:||W & B Publishers Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)|
About the Author
His first novel, Lord Baltimore (John F. Blair, 2002, nominated for the Pulitzer the same year), is the fictional account of a young man's travels through Gullah country along the Georgia coast. His second book, Voices from St. Simons: Personal Narratives of an Island's Past (nonfiction, John F. Blair, 2008), is an oral history of Coastal Georgia. Published by Deer Hawk Publications: Georgia Witness (nonfiction, 2012) is a compilation of twenty-six interviews of the most influential Georgians of the 20th and 21st Centuries, Shadow Child: Tales From The Georgia Coast - Sixteen Works of Fiction & One True Story (2012) chronicles a historical artifact and the people it impacted from 1597 to the 21st Century, Rose Bush (2013) is a southern novel depicting a conflict between environmentalists, a paper mill, and the aristocracy of a rural Georgia town, and Jesus Tree (2014), a novel based on the true story of a black man who was wrongly convicted of murdering a family in Southeast Georgia in the 1930's.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Her Finest Hour by Stephen Doster is the best gift a son could give his mother, a memorial of her life; one that women and men should honor. She did anything and everything, saying, “Well, I’ve never done that before.” She volunteered at the hospitals, was a WAAF during WWII and accomplished so many things cutting-edge for women of that day: worked in RAF (Royal Air Force) Operations Rooms, was an ATC (Air Traffic Controller), volunteered to do assignments no one else dared simply because she had never done them before, and, after the war, she was one of the first female flight attendants for the BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), now known as British Airways. I am in awe of her and thank Stephen Doster for being such a wonderful son. — CJ Loiacono