Johnnie Johnson is a character literally straight out of the pages of ' Boys Own'. By the end of the Second World War the RAF Spitfire pilot was a household name in Britain, feted by Churchill and Eisenhower. Although he missed the Battle of Britain, when slow- flying bombers were abundant and easy targets for fighters, by 1945 he had notched up 381/2 enemy 'kills' - all fighters, which took far more skill to shoot down - and was officially the RAF's top-scoring fighter ace. One of his most impressive achievements was that, despite participating in over 1,000 combat missions, he was never shot down. His Spitfire was damaged once, and on his return to base he apologised to his fitter, saying, 'I was surrounded by six of them.' Aviation historian Dilip Sarkar spent many hours with Johnson in the final years of the great man's life, recording the last interviews Johnson ever gave. The book is infused with breathtaking firsthand accounts from Johnnie himself and many of his fellow Spitfire pilots, also interviewed by the author, and profusely illustrated with photographs from Johnson's personal albums.
Sarkar has interviewed veteran pilots over the years and has drawn upon letters, diaries and family memories... to present this complete first person account of the air battles, bail-outs and crashes' THE DAILY MAIL Excellent... essential reading.' SPITFIRE: THE JOURNAL OF THE SPITFIRE SOCIETY
Dilip Sarkar has published over thirty books on the Battle of Britain. These include the biography of Douglas Bader, and the Battle of Britain memoir of Brian Lane (as editor). A retired policeman, in 2003 Dilip was made an MBE for services to aviation history, and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. He lives in Worcester.