Rhapsody in Blue

A Cold War Warrior's Experience of Operating and Testing Hunters, Harriers, Jaguars, et al.

Graham Williams

A fighter pilot's memoirs of life in the RAF from 1955 to 1991, operational tours on Hunters, Harriers and Jaguars, 3 tours in flight testing including early testing of the Harrier, the 1969 Transatlantic Air Race in a Harrier, and the last five years in MOD associated mainly with the demise of the Nimrod AEW and the acquisition of the Typhoon.
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
32 B&W photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781556658
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


This is a fighter pilot’s autobiography of life in the RAF from 1955 to 1991. It is structured around the Hawker Hunter, it being the first operational aircraft the author flew in 1958 and the last in 1985.

It includes operational tours on 54 Sqn, 145 Sqn (229 OCU), 8 Sqn in Aden during the Radfan campaign, a year at the Empire Test Pilots’ School followed by four years on the Fighter Test Sqn at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, including the 1969 Transatlantic Air Race in a Harrier, command of one of the first operational Harrier Sqns in Germany and the delights of off-base operations, a ground tour on the staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square, command of a RAF Germany base with four nuclear capable Jaguar squadrons, a ground tour as Gp Capt Operations in Germany followed by a short tour as CO Experimental Flying at Farnborough and a final flying tour as Commandant of A&AEE.

The epilogue covers the final five years of service in MOD including the demise of the Nimrod AEW, the birth of the Typhoon and a final year as Commandant General of the RAF Regiment.

About The Author

Graham Williams served for 37 years in the RAF, retiring in 1991 as an Air Vice-Marshal. He has extensive experience as a strike/attack pilot on Hunters, Harriers and Jaguars in the UK, Middle East and Germany and as a test pilot. He commanded a Harrier Squadron, a Jaguar station and his R&D experience culminated in command of A&AEE (Boscombe Down), followed by five years in MOD responsible for new equipment requirements for the RAF. He is a holder of the Air Force Cross and bar and the Harmon Trophy.

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