Often working alone and unsupported, undertaking long patrols out over opens seas, Coastal Command bred a special kind of airman. Alongside individuals such Lloyd Trigg, who was awarded the Victoria Cross; Roger Moorwood, a Blenheim pilot who flew in the Battle of France; Jack Davenport, who flew his Hampden; John Watson, the sole survivor of a Short Sunderland which was lost during a rescue mission; Maurice Guedj a Frenchman who escaped Morocco to join the Free French Air Force; Sam McHardy, who for a short while became a Coastal Command ground coordinator posted aboard a Royal Navy destroyer for a raid on Norway in 1941; and Ken Gatward, who flew a unique daylight mission over Paris to drop a Tricolore on the Arc de Triomphe. These are just some of the fabulous stories – their achievements are even more extraordinary, even more daring and full of breathtaking courage.
Bird is becoming one of the new generation of historians who were born long after the war but who bring to the subject a freshness and proper spirit of enquiry.
AC John Meler RAAF
Director General History and Heritage– AF, AFHQ