A deeply personal and revealing eyewitness narrative of one airman’s life as a bomber pilot in England ’s RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) in WWI. It is a true story, an adventure, and a war memoir carefully constructed from Captain Donald E. Harkness’s unpublished diaries, letters, sketches and photographs – only recently uncovered nearly a century later – that documented his remarkable experiences and military adventures over England, France and Belgium. The first book written by a highly decorated WWI flyer from New Zealand that captures the “behind the scenes” life of RNAS pilots, as well as the surprises, terrors, traumas, humor, and sheer excitement of an aerial form of combat never before experienced by anyone, anywhere – and only eleven short years after the Wright Brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk.
With a talent for writing, Don begins an epic journey at a major turning point in history when the world is poised at the dawn of flight, and bracing itself for unknown dangers of unprecedented sophistication and savagery.
Don’s journal reveals unique insights and vivid imagery of another time and experience, to wit:
- the terror and devastation of a Zeppelin bombing raid in London
- the training regimen of early flying schools, and their serious & comic episodes
- the wonder, awe, and poetry of flying aloft in the majestic heavens
- vivid bombing raids, plus the raid that earned him the DSC
- his crash-landing and capture
- working with the underground to help downed pilots evade capture
- London’s unrestrained exuberance on Armistice Day;
. . . and much, much more.