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Flying an Unencumbered Spitfire 9

Flying an Unencumbered Spitfire 9

Mr. Wilson describes flying his Spitfire 9 out of the farmer’s field in Sicily after removing all unnecessary weight. He tells us that the experience of flying an unencumbered Spitfire 9 was a pilot’s dream.

A Close Call in Sicily

A Close Call in Sicily

Mr. Wilson describes being forced to land in a field after running low on fuel, and how his Command was relieved by the positive treatment he'd received at the hands of local Sicilians.

Attacked by Friendlies

Attacked by Friendlies

Mr. Wilson describes being attacked by American fighters, evading their fire without engaging, and being advised by his commander to fire back if it happened again.

Oxygen Starvation - A Deadly Adversary

Oxygen Starvation - A Deadly Adversary

Mr. Wilson describes being mystified by pilots, in sound aircraft, who plummeted from formations and crashed. He finds out that the cause is 'oxygen starvation', and on one sortie experiences its nearly deadly consequences himself.

Dogfights

Dogfights

Mr. Wilson dispels some myths about what a dogfight was, considering how fast World War Two fighter aircraft had become. He adds a personal footnote about privilege.

Strafing at Cap Bon

Strafing at Cap Bon

Mr. Wilson describes attacking and destroying five German cargo aircraft on the air strip at Cape Bon, Tunisia.

Combat Roles in North Africa

Combat Roles in North Africa

Mr. Wilson itemizes the Royal Air Force's role at El Alamein, namely neutralizing German Stuka dive bombers, supporting the infantry, and strafing German troops and road traffic.

RAF Air Patrol Tactics

RAF Air Patrol Tactics

Mr. Wilson describes how the Royal Air Force, after sustaining heavy losses to the Luftwaffe, changed its patrol tactics by stacking groups of four aircraft in three tiers, thus decreasing its losses substantially.

Butterfly Bombs and Strafing

Butterfly Bombs and Strafing

Mr. Wilson describes how the Germans harassed their airfield by dropping butterfly bombs and occasionally strafing the landing strip, once while he sat helplessly in his cockpit.

Different Aircraft and Tough Navigating

Different Aircraft and Tough Navigating

Mr. Wilson discusses his surprise at being selected for fighter pilot training, and goes on to describe training on the Miles Master and Hurricanes. He describes the challenge of navigating in industrial cloud cover.

An Unusual Welcome to England

An Unusual Welcome to England

Mr. Wilson describes arriving in Scotland, traveling by train to Bournemouth and being welcomed there by a German dive bomber.

Tiger Moths and Harvards

Tiger Moths and Harvards

Mr. Wilson compares the experience of training in a single-engine Tiger Moth and the much more powerful twin-engine Harvard.

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