Winged Combat: My Story as a Spitfire Pilot in WW II


366 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-00-200651-0
DDC 940.54'4971'092




Reviewed by Danial Duda

Danial Duda is an information services librarian in the Queen Elizabeth
II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Winged Combat is the memoir of Arthur Bishop, the son of the First World
War flying ace, Billy Bishop. The title is slightly misleading, as it is
a memoir of Arthur’s whole life, not just the war years, although the
majority of the work deals with the period 1939–45. While there are
passages of highly intense action, Bishop also tells what life was like
away from the war: pranks during combat training, socials, dating,
writing letters to family and friends, having a few beers with comrades,
and so on.

What was it like to be the son of a famous war hero? While stationed in
Britain, Bishop says, there were times when he said he wasn’t related
to Billy Bishop. He did this not out of shame, but simply to carve out
some time and space for himself. The chapters dealing with Bishop’s
training offer insight into the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan,
a major Canadian contribution to the war effort. Bishop also describes
his service in the combat zones (mainly Britain and France), his life
after the war as a husband and father, and how he became a writer.

This book is recommended for libraries that collect Canadiana or Second
World War memoirs.


Bishop, Arthur., “Winged Combat: My Story as a Spitfire Pilot in WW II,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,