Beaufighters Over Sea, Sand, and Steaming Jungles

Jack Colman, Richard Colman

Jack continues his war flying Beaufighters then Mosquitoes, initially over the North Sea attacking German convoys then over Burma supporting the 14th Army on their offensive against the Japs. He is exposed to the cultural differences of the Subcontinent and is appreciative though at times embarrassed by his personal circumstances as an Officer.
Date Published :
June 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
37 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557464
Pages : 393
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In October 1943, Jack changed from Liberators to Beaufighters having been selected for Torbeau training in Scotland. He joined a Strike Wing at North Coates attacking North Sea convoys off the coast of Holland. Later Jack and his Beaufighter were sent to the Far East where he was deployed to fly out of Assam over Burma supporting the ‘Forgotten’ Army. Midway through the ‘tour’ they converted to Mosquitoes; a change he was not particularly happy about. After a short ‘rest’ converting pilots to Mosquitoes he felt lucky to be put in charge of a small Unit flying Service Personnel to various venues in Southern India. Jack’s enthusiasm for flying is maintained and his lucky escapes documented. His fascination with the cultural and social experiences gained in India leaves its mark as he comments on the privileges he experiences – now as a Commissioned Officer - compared to the non- commissioned, and of the wealth chasm between the Indian Princes and the poor of India. This is not just about flying but how he and his comrades lived through those unique and special times.

About The Author

Born in 1919 Jack Colman was the only child of Freda and Harold of York. A conscientious student he had an ambition from the age of 10 to become a Pilot. The war was his opportunity. Selected for pilot training, he joined the RAF shortly after his twenty-first birthday which rescued him, for a time, from the office job in insurance which it was recommended he took, aged sixteen. Postwar he had a spell as a commercial pilot for BEA until 1953 when layoffs saw him return to insurance. He and Peggy had two boys Peter and Richard.


Abbreviations; Introduction; 1 The Beautiful Beau; 2 The Road to Morocco; 3 Training for Torbeaus; 4 Morocco Again; 5 North Sea Capers; 6 The Full Wing in Action; 7 East Coast Torbeau Squadrons: The Context; 8 ‘Snakecharmer’ Goes East; 9 Holiday in Cairo; 10 East of Suez; 11 The Train to Bombay; 12 Getting the ‘Gen’ at Poona; 13 Preparations for Burma; 14 The Wettest Place on Earth; 15 Bill Briefs Us for Battle; 16 The Fright of My Life; 17 The Rains Ease Up; 18 Two Important Visitors; 19 The Beau Bows Out in Style; 20 The Mozzie: Wood, Glue, and a Silly Stick; 21 Mozzie Out: Stinson Back; 22 We Leave the War Behind; 23 The Good Life, Even in Hospital; 24 David and I Go on Holiday; 25 We Hear of VE Day; 26 Training for What?; 27 The Wedding Season; 28 I Send Peter to the Cocos, Then the War is Over; 29 Getting the Folks Home; 30 Our Time at Bhopal; 31 Dinner with the Nawab; 32 Flying Again; 33 The Best Job in the RAF; 34 I Come Home, Twice; Epilogue; Appendix I: Henry Everest Colman; Appendix II: List of Significant Events.


"Writing in the first person, Colman brings the reader into the cockpit. He talks about the locations of controls and instruments and seamlessly describes visual cues from the cockpit when attacking land and maritime targets. On one mission, two of his four 20mm cannons exploded and blew the bottom off his airplane; the reader can feel the explosions, hear the noise, and feel the air streaming into the cockpit."

- Air Power History

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