On Laughter-Silvered Wings

The Story of Lt. Col. E.T (Ted) Strever D.F.C

Gail Strever-Morkel

This thoroughly researched biographical account of the life of a South African WW2 pilot is sure to appeal widely. Ted's wartime exploits include the first midair skyjacking in history, many emergency crash landings, and carrying out dangerous rescue operations. Written largely in the first person, these exploits come vividly to life.
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
approximately 100 mono images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399074988
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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This well written and thoroughly researched biographical account of the life and times of a South African WW2 pilot (the author's father) is sure to appeal widely. The story is by necessity highly personal, drawing on family history and changing lifestyles as the central figure fights his way through a series of challenging experiences, flying coastal strike missions in the Mediterranean and North Africa, then in the Far East against the Japanese. The story is full of personal perspectives and gets off to a thorough and engrossing operational start, before retracing the personal family story to place everything in context. Images of a lost world haunt the pages, evocative of an era where a decisive individual could challenge the system and get results, despite massive inflexibility within the Services. This work is sure to make a welcome addition to any discerning reader’s collection; the story of Coastal Command is often overlooked, with histories focusing largely on the Fighter boys and Bomber Boys of World War Two and their associated experiences. The exploits recorded in this book therefore serve as an overdue reminder of the Unit, and the part they played in the Allied effort.

Ted's wartime exploits include the first midair skyjacking in history, a daring solitary attack on the Italian fleet after losing the rest of his strike team, narrowly surviving being burnt in the subsequent inferno of a horrific air crash in the Ceylon jungle, many emergency crash landings and finally – as Commander of 27 Squadron – carrying out dangerous rescue operations behind enemy lines for members of the Indian Resistance Movement who were operating in the jungle of Burma. Written largely in the first person, and illustrated extensively, these exploits come vividly to life.

About The Author

Gail Strever – Morkel was born in 1951 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She was educated at St. Peter's Diocesan School, the Bulawayo Technical College of Art, where she obtained a first class BA Fine Arts degree. Her body of work 'In Absentia' dealt with issues of colonialism and feminism, based on her research of southern African history, particularly the history of Bulawayo where she grew up.

This book, her first, marks a determination on her part to record her father's stories as he told them. She spent a series of years recording their conversations. This book is the result of that discussion. She lives in Uniondale with her husband Mike Morkel, and has two children and a grandchild.

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