Tales from the Frontline

The Middle East Hunter Squadrons

Ray Deacon

Whilst the author's first book concentrated on operations carried out by Hawker Hunter squadrons in the Middle East, based on official records produced at the time, this new publication comprises anecdotes and stories of life on the Hunter squadrons.
Date Published :
March 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
250 color and B&W illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781526721464
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$49.95

Overview
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Having passed-out from Boy Entrant training in December 1959, Ray spent the following two years servicing Vampire trainers at the Central Flying School (CFS), RAF Little Rissington. In April 1962, Ray left Little Rissington and joined thirty fellow airmen for a voyage out to Aden aboard HMT Nevassa on her last sailing as a troopship. Posted to 8 Squadron at RAF Khormaksar, he spent the next two years living and working in the torrid heat of this desert outpost. It had its compensations, however, the opportunity not only to experience life on a busy front-line operational squadron while working on ground attack and fighter reconnaissance versions of the Hawker Hunter, but to savor the delights of a trip in Sydney Camm’s most versatile aircraft topping his list.

In addition to defending the skies above Aden and its Protectorates, Middle East Command expended a large proportion of its energy supporting army activities in the mountains of the Aden hinterland; dropping supplies, transporting personnel between posts, and in the case of the Hunter squadrons, attacking dissident targets and patrolling the border with Yemen. It was against this background that Ray wrote his first book on RAF Middle East Command operations, Hunters over Arabia (published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd in 2018).

Concentrating on the activities of the Command’s strike force, it is based on official records produced at the time and since held at the National Archives in Kew. Tales from the Frontline: Middle East Hunters is a fully illustrated companion volume that comprises anecdotes, stories and experiences of life on the Hunter squadrons as told by the pilots and airmen who flew and maintained the Hunter during its twelve-year tenure in Arabia.

About The Author
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Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1942, Ray grew up in South-East London and went on to study at William Penn Technical School before joining the Royal Air Force. On passing out in December 1959, he was posted to the Central Flying School (CFS), before arranging an exchange with a fellow radio mechanic on the DH Vampire T.11 line. Much to Ray’s delight, the squadron was also responsible for handling Hawker Hunters the CFS Type Flight whenever they paid visits from their operating base at RAF Kemble. The opportunity to work on the ‘queen of the skies’ kindled a passion that has remained with him ever since.His career in the Royal Air Force involved service in Aden, where he lived for two years, working on a busy front-line operational squadron equipped with the more potent ground attack and fighter reconnaissance versions of Hawkers impeccable aircraft. He also worked at RAF Little Rissington on the Varsity squadron, a posting that was followed by time spent at the CFS Gnat Base Engineering Team, where he became familiar with the Gnats operating with the Red Arrows Aerobatic Team and 4 Squadron CFS.He left the RAF in May 1967. A year with the RAE at Farnborough was followed by a 25-year career in computing with IBM. Early retirement enabled Ray to dedicate his free time to carrying out in-depth studies of his favourite subjects; RAF Little Rissington during the CFS years and Hawker Hunter operations in the Middle East.

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