Winged Crusaders The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-1945
By Michael Napier
Pen and Sword (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk )
RRP GBP £25.00
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The Royal Air Force’s 14 Squadron was formed in 1915 during the early years of the First World War (WW1). Technically 14 Squadron is older than the RAF as the RAF itself was only formed in 1918. At the time of formation 14 Squadron belonged to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and it is still operational today. Hence 14 Squadron is one of the RAF’s most senior and long serving squadrons. Most of its life from WW1 to 1945 was spent in the Middle East and it is this period that the book considers.
14 Squadron has had a rich and varied life and until this book was produced its history has been generally unrecorded. The author has done an excellent job in organising the historical scraps of data and unit stories and has produced a superb collective history for this unit. The period covered spans an era of great military and social upheaval during which aviation technology radically evolved.
This volume is not just about the aircraft, the operations and the stark military facts of this squadron but it also reflects both the aircrew and the ground personnel. It is their story and the author brings to life their personalities. The trials and tribulations of the squadron’s personnel are recorded – they are what made 14 Squadron.
The book is essentially split into an introduction, nine chapters and three appendices. Each of the chapters covers a different time period (between 1915 and 1945) and operational theatre. The three useful appendices cover the aircraft operated (by 14 Squadron) between 1915 and 1945, the squadron’s aircraft markings (1915 – 1945) and squadron history references.
This exciting book is packed full of data on the Squadron and it is an excellent account of its history. The author’s work is exceptional and this is the must have book on 14 Squadron.