VJ Day and the Indian Air Force
On VJ Day I am remembering the men of 10 squadron Indian Air Force. A mix of Indian, Australian, British and Canadian pilots they were formed and led by Sq Ldr Bob Doe.
They flew low over the jungles of Burma in their Hurri-bombers. On one memorable occasion he led them on a dangerous mission to land on a makeshift air strip behind enemy lines to support the 81st West Africa Division. Their bravery should not be forgotten.
See my book, Fighter Pilot
Names of pilots we know who served are Eddy, Jonny Milne, L S Grewali, Jaspal Singh, R B Davis (Adj), Les Smith, A S Picken, Ron Jones, Roshan Suri, R. Sujir, Latimour, Ned Sparkes and Chrishna. All under the leadership of Squadron Leader Bob Doe
Launch of 'Churchill's Few' by John Willis
Today I will be interviewing John Willis about his book Churchill's Few. Robin Ellis, the actor best known for his part as the original Ross Poldark, will be reading extracts from the book.
The book is based on interviews with six men who fought in the Battle of Britain. My father, Bob Doe, is one of them. The others are another pilot officer who was very badly burned, a sergeant pilot, a Polish pilot, an intelligence officer and a Luftwaffe pilot. They each bring a different perspective to the Battle.
On-Line Maritime History Courses
Here are some maritime history courses to enjoy. I am the tutor on two distance courses. The Lost World of the Sailing Ships: a look at the era of wooden sail in 19th century Britain, and Steaming Ahead : How steam ships developed during the 19th century and connected the world.
You can find them at Learnforpleasure.com
The courses do not require any examinations or essays so you can relax and enjoy finding out about the maritime past. They cover the ships, the trades, the masters and men, shipbuilders and engineers and a host of related occupations that were part of the shipping industry. We look at ports, both small and large, and the surprising number of maritime businesswomen. Shipowners, small investors, sailmakers, merchants, insurers and marine store dealers all appear.
SS Great Britain
My latest book is about Brunel's masterpiece, the ss Great Britain.
This is the first newly researched book on her since the 1970s and uncovers many new stories of passengers and crew during her remarkable long life.
We are fortunate that this wonderful vessel is still here in Bristol today.
I am travelling to India this weekend to celebrate the 75th anniversary of 10 Squadron of the Indian Air Force. My father, Bob Doe, was their first commanding officer. I am delighted and honoured to be invited to Jodhpur .
When writing his biography, Fighter Pilot, I learnt so much about the WW2 campaign in India and Burma.