Glorious in Solitude

The Courage of Isolated Rear Gunners in the RAF During the Second World War

Colin Pateman

Date Published :
March 2015
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781552216
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Royal Air Force and her Commonwealth allies were thrust into war in 1939 with an ill-equipped structure of aircrew and aircraft. There had been pre-war plans in place to formally train 'air gunners', but these only materialized after the realization that air gunners were required in significant numbers. The Second World War saw a remarkable recognition of the role undertaken by these exceptional young men, all of whom volunteered for service. Many later climbed into small cramped and isolated Perspex turrets that were perched at the extremity of Whitley, Wellington, Lancaster and Halifax bombers. Glorious in Solitude explores stories of these 'rear gunners' taken primarily from flying logbooks and recommendations for gallant action. These brave young men were totally exposed, removed from their crew and charged with providing the ultimate protection from marauding Luftwaffe night fighters: they experienced dangers unique to their chosen trade. Glorious in Solitude also explores the historical aspects of equipment, uniform and the medals awarded to rear gunners. A fitting tribute to those men who endured such isolated hardship and to those who lost their lives in solitude.

About The Author

Colin Pateman lives in the South of England having spent his working life as a Police Officer, retiring after 32 years’ service. His key roles were as a handler of specialist search dogs, a Home Office qualified instructor and later trained by the Royal Engineers to qualify as a Police Search Advisor. Colin is an avid collector of aviation memorabilia and gains great satisfaction from gathering and preserving personal accounts of pilots and aircrews of the Second World War. His other aviation related publications by Fonthill include ‘Goldfish Caterpillars and Guinea pigs’, ‘Unwanted Hero’, ‘Unshackled Spirit’ and ‘Glorious in Solitude’.

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