By FLT/LT ER (Dick) Brunton RNZAF
Published by GLOUCESTER FASHIONS LTD
Paper back, illustrated, 186 Pp
Reviewed by Bill Hopper
An ordinary bloke's story
With virtually no blood and guts, no heroics and a little humour, Dick Brunton’s My War 1939-45 is a relatively low key account of his service as a pilot in Bomber Command during World War II.
This is an “ordinary bloke’s” war story replicated by many thousands of other airmen who got up there, did the job and luckily survived the flak and fighters of Nazi Germany.
The first half of this book is dedicated to the trials and tribulations of aircrew selection, initial training in New Zealand and the exotic experiences encountered in Canada with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan aka Empire Air Training Scheme. It could well be described as “A Beginners Guide to Flying”.
Having graduated from the TMPF of the Tiger Moth, one now had to master the HTMPFFGSOS of the twin-engined Airspeed Oxford. Stumped? OK, all will be revealed on page 53. A similar laid back treatment is accorded his introduction to the North American Mitchell B-25s of 226 Squadron RAF and the subsequent tour of 31 ops over Europe.
Once again Brunton writes for the uninitiated, explaining in detail such things as the manoevering required for bomber formation flying and the loading and arming of various bombs. His recollections are descriptive, matter-of-fact and unemotional, telling it as he saw it. On the first page of this saga, Dick Brunton admits he was in trouble at primary school because, “… I couldn’t spell for nuts and I still can not [sic].” Amen to that!
As with most self-published books this one sorely needs the services of a professional editor and proof reader.