Bomber Patrol

William Stanley, Author Walker & Company $15.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-8027-0885-4
Originally published in England, this evocative novel offers more than just RAF derring-do in the Great War. A young lieutenant, Christopher Robson, is about to be sent home in 1918 after only three weeks in France. The charge is cowardice, but the causes are inexperience, a difficult aircraft and youthful ineptness. (After more than three years of war, most English pilots are less than 20 years old.) Through an administrative snafu, Robson is reassigned to a night-bomber squadron. Fire-breathing, up-from-the-ranks Captain Callaghan needs all the pilots he can get to stem the Germans' approaching offensive. Robson must master the outmoded, ungainly R.E.8 bombers, conquer his own fear and win Callaghan's respect. He manages to achieve all three goals, acquiring a reputation for daredevil flying and a knack for walking away from crashes. He also falls in love for the first time, through the affair is doomed. The confusion and futility of war become real and the book ends with a quixotic, ambiguous mission, with Robson andCallaghan flying toward the front line. Stanley also wrote Cloud Nineteen.(March 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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