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One of Churchill's Own: The Memoirs of Battle of Britain Ace John Greenwood

One of Churchill's Own: The Memoirs of Battle of Britain Ace John Greenwood

by John Greenwood


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John Greenwood was born in East London on 3 April 1921. At the age of eighteen, in February 1939, he forged his father’s signature and joined the RAF on a short service commission. Seven months later, Britain declared war on Germany and 253 Squadron was formed. In May 1940, John and his fellow pilots were sent to France with 24 hours’ notice where he shot down a Dornier 17 and a Messerschmitt 109 the next day, before returning to England with only four pilots and three aircraft left. 253 Squadron was then sent to Kirton in Lindsay to reform, having lost half the Squadron in France including the CO and both Flight Commanders. At the end of August 1940, the Squadron flew down to Kenley to join the Battle of Britain. The next day he shot down a Heinkel III and was subsequently credited with ½ a Junkers 88 and a Messerschmitt 109. Despite being credited with 5 and half victories in France and The Battle of Britain, he was one of the few aces never to receive a DFC.

Although he emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, he returned to London for the 25th, 50th and 60th Battle of Britain Anniversaries then again in 2005 for the unveiling of the Battle of Britain monument, before passing away in 2014. He was the last surviving member of 253 Squadron. One of Churchill’s last surviving Few, this is his story.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473872677
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 11/22/2016
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Greenwood (1921-2014) joined the Royal Air Force in 1939. He served throughout the Second World War, seeing active service during both the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. He was credited with five and a half victories over the course of these two battles. This is an impressive tally, by anyone's measure, yet he was one of the few aces never to receive a DFC. This autobiography, published for the first time by Pen and Sword Books, has been released with the full backing of the late author's family. It is hoped that its release will shine a light on an overlooked ace, affording him the recognition he deserves.

Table of Contents

Glossary viii

Prologue: Lille Marque, France, 17 May 1940 ix

Foreword Michael Greenwood x

Excerpt Winston Churchill's Speech: House of Commons, 20 August 1940 xvii

Chapter 1 Early Years 1

Chapter 2 School Years 7

Chapter 3 Working life 17

Chapter 4 Training. No.2 FTS, Brize Norton 21

Chapter 5 253 Squadron. RAF Manston 27

Chapter 6 The Battle of France, Lille Marque 35

Chapter 7 The Squadron Reforms, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey 43

Chapter 8 The Battle of Britain, RAF Kenley 49

Chapter 9 The Battle of Britain, In retrospect 61

Chapter 10 Posted for a Rest 65

Chapter 11 Catapult Ships 71

Chapter 12 The Empire Flame 77

Chapter 13 55 OUT Usworth, November 1941 85

Chapter 14 615 Squadron, Jessore, India 89

Chapter 15 Army 4 Corps, Imphal 95

Chapter 16 615 Squadron, Feni 99

Chapter 17 17 Squadron, Calcutta 105

Chapter 18 Risalpur 111

Chapter 19 9IAF Squadron, Bhopal 115

Chapter 20 Black Watch Regiment, Secunderabad 121

Chapter 21 Force 136, Colombo, Ceylon 125

Chapter 22 130 Squadron, RAF Odiham, England 129

Chapter 23 33 Squadron, Fassberg, Germany 133

Chapter 24 Lest We Forget 137

Epilogue 139

Postscript 140

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