By Ian Hall
Courage in the face of adversity
Approaching the end of his flying training course at RAF Acklington in the 1960s, Simon Millett hopes that his performance has been good enough to gain a posting to the fighter advanced training school. His dream is to become a fighter pilot, so when he is called into the boss’s office and told that, to meet Service needs, he will be posted to helicopters, Simon fears he will never reach his goal.
A tour in the Persian Gulf flying Wessex helis gives Simon a new perspective on his role in the RAF, and he embarks on a path of service which takes him across three continents. Following combat experience during seconded service in Oman, he eventually achieves his aim of a posting to jet fighter-bombers. And with his wife Jennie at his side, he is ready for anything until, out of the blue, his health throws up the greatest hurdle yet. Grounded, and yet honoured with an MBE, Simon continues to serve in the RAF as the Gulf Conflict looms. But as he waits and hopes for a life-saving transplant, time appears to be running out.
His eventual operation and recovery leads him to new and almost unbelievable achievements, but a final twist leads to a conclusion rich in tragedy and irony.
A human story of personal challenge and courage in the face of adversity, this historical novel will also appeal to anyone with an interest in the RAF and its operations during the last third of the twentieth century.
Ian Hall spent thirty-two years as an RAF pilot, retiring as a group captain. He then flew turbo-props for regional airlines for a further twelve years. Married with three grown-up children, he lives in Norfolk.
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