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The Silver Spitfire

The Legendary WWII RAF Fighter Pilot in His Own Words
De : Tom Neil
Lu par : Roger Davis
Durée : 11 h et 45 min

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A brilliantly vivid Second World War memoir by one of 'the Few' Spitfire fighter pilots. 

Following the D-Day landings, Battle of Britain hero Tom Neil was assigned as an RAF liaison to an American fighter squadron. 

As the Allies pushed east, Neil commandeered an abandoned Spitfire as his own personal aeroplane. Erasing any evidence of its provenance and stripping it down to bare metal, it became the RAF's only silver Spitfire.   

Alongside his US comrades, he took the silver Spitfire into battle until, with the war's end, he was forced to make a difficult decision. Faced with too many questions about the mysterious rogue fighter, he contemplated increasingly desperate measures to offload it, including bailing out mid-Channel. 

He eventually left the Spitfire at Worthy Down, never to be seen again.  

The Silver Spitfire is the firsthand, gripping story of Neil's heroic experience as an RAF fighter pilot and his reminiscences with his very own personal Spitfire.

©2019 Wg Cdr Tom Neil (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 10/07/2020

Good Story, But Little Action

This is a thoroughly enjoyable memoir of one part of pilot Tom Neil's long life; specifically, when he was appointed as an RAF liaison officer to the U.S. Ninth Air Force's 100th Fighter Wing. Most of the story focuses on Neil's non-combat experiences and adventures with Americans, who Neil finds alternatively admirable, amusing, and sometimes a little disgusting. Despite a few close calls (not from combat), most of Neil's experiences in this part of his life seem to have been enjoyable. The Silver Spitfire doesn't make an appearance until relatively late in the book, and it is an interesting story, but it really is not the focus of the book. Neil did not go into combat in that plane. Neil's combat experience--which was very extensive--all predated this book. If you know what the book covers, and adjust your expectations accordingly, I think you will enjoy it. The narration ranges from really good--when the narrator is speaking for Neil--to jarringly bad--when the narrator (eminently British) tries to imitate an American accent. Many of Neil's American friends were from the South, and Neil often notes that they spoke in a very southern accent. For this narrator, EVERY American accent comes out as a fairly bad imitation of a Brooklyn accent. To say that he cannot do a southern accent is an understatement. Pretty irritating to this American listener. Then again, I imagine American narrators regularly butcher British accents to the British ear!