Flying Nightingales

Prior to June 13th, 1944 the British had never sent women to a combat zone. On that day, Myra Roberts, Lydia Alford and Edna Birbeck became the first of around 200 “Flying Nightingales” who risked their lives to bring home what would amount to 100,000 wounded men from mainland Europe over the remainder of the war. This is their story.

G for George

G-George flew 89 sorties over occupied Europe with No.460 Squadron during a period when most operational Lancasters were shot down before they had even reached 20. In 107,085 total sorties flown by Lancasters, 2,687 went missing. Remarkably, G-George brought its crew home alive from every operation it flew on.

F/O Les Clisby’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.I of No.1 Squadron RAF, France May 1940

I present my first previously unpublished Feature Article. The subject is F/O Les Clisby and his Hawker Hurricane Mk.1. This remarkable Australian fighter pilot was noted for his aggression, both in the air and on the ground… “Remarkably, Clisby landed nearby, drew his service sidearm and chased the German crewmen across the field as they tried to escape! He captured one in a rugby tackle…” I hope you enjoy the article.

Flt. Sgt. George “Grumpy” Unwin’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA

While Tamiya’s new tool Spitfire gets all the attention, here’s one of the old tool version…

“In late May, 1940 the BEF was forced from continental Europe by the Germans at Dunkirk. The now famous retreat was covered in part by Spitfires of No.19 Squadron. Flight Sergeant George Unwin was already an experienced Spitfire pilot by this stage of the war…”