Flight Lieutenant David Moore Crook DFC’s original Spitfire Pilot ranks among the finest first-hand accounts published during the Second World War, particularly for a Battle of Britain airman. It rightly remains a sought-after classic. A Spitfire pilot during the epic aerial battles of the summer of 1940, ‘DMC’ became a decorated ace. However, he did not survive the war: his Spitfire inexplicably crashed into the sea off the Scottish coast on 18 December 1944. A married man and father, he remains missing. First published under wartime conditions in 1942, Spitfire Pilot was not heavily censored – unlike Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC’s similar first-hand account Spitfire! The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot, published the same year. DMC’s book was based on his entries in two Stationary Office lined notebooks, hastily scribbled between sorties, and using his pilot’s flying log book for reference. In 1990, the renowned Battle of Britain historian Dilip Sarkar traced DMC’s widow, Dorothy, who enthusiastically supported the idea of re-publishing Spitfire Pilot. She duly uncovered bound copies of DMC’s original manuscript, which she passed to Dilip. The Real Spitfire Pilot is, therefore, DMC’s original, completely uncensored and unedited words, shared here for the first time. It provides a totally authentic window on the past, providing a unique glimpse at the lives – and deaths – of real Spitfire pilots in our Finest Hour. With an introduction and conclusion by Dilip Sarkar, and illustrated with previously unseen photographs, this is destined to become another classic.
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