Who am I?
It all started in the cinema of a seaside town in 1970 when, as a young boy, I sat open-mouthed in front of a sparkling Technicolour movie. Before my eyes, the very foundations of British life were defended from tyranny by dashing pilots riding in sleek, powerful fighter planes. The film, The Battle of Britain, instilled a life-long fascination with the events of 1940. Years later I discovered one of The Few had grown up in my hometown and was buried in our local graveyard. I started to research the life and times of this man and his story became the foundations of my first novel, Bluebirds.
Melvyn's book list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)
Why did Melvyn love this book?
Art Donahue is the inspiration for my character, Gerry Donaldson, in my book, and Tally-Ho! is the book he wrote about his life while the Battle of Britain was still raging around him. Art was one of many Americans who volunteered at the risk of losing US citizenship, but as a fully qualified flying instructor he jumped the queue and very quickly found himself in a Spitfire cockpit flying into hostile skies with 64 Squadron. Donahue went on to fight in other theatres and write further on his experiences. Sadly, he did not survive the war, but this unique and vibrant document serves as a memorial and a celebration of a true American pioneer.