Blue Skies: The Autobiography of a Canadian Spitfire Pilot in World War 2
Peter Henderson teaches history at Douglas College in New Westminster,
This is a workmanlike account of a much-decorated Canadian fighter pilot’s career in World War II, from the start of the conflict right to the end of hostilities. It has plenty of detail necessary to tell the story, taken from the author’s notes and letters home during the period of his service in England, the intensive battles over Malta, Italy, and finally in France.
The photographs relate directly to the author’s career, a welcome change from some other books which merely reproduce well-known publicity handouts of that era.
I found the style of writing rather pedestrian, all the author’s comrades being described in rather too glowing terms to sound completely convincing. Help from a ghost writer would have aided the book to hold the reader’s interest more effectively.
Nevertheless, Blue Skies does convey well the atmosphere of the times, not just in the air battle descriptions, but in recounting the uncertainties of war.