Glorious in Solitude: The Courage of Isolated Rear Gunners in the RAF During the Second World War (BOK)
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The Royal Air Force and her Commonwealth allies were thrust into war in 1939 with an ill equipped structure of aircrew and aircraft. There had been prewar plans in place to formally train 'Air Gunners' but these only materialized after the realization that 'Air Gunners' were required in significant numbers. The Second World War saw a remarkable recognition of the role undertaken by these exceptional young men, all of whom volunteered for service. Many later climbed into small cramped and isolated perspex turrets that were perched at the extremity of Whitley - Wellington - Lancaster and Halifax bombers. 'Glorious in Solitude' explores stories of these 'Rear Gunners' taken primarily from flying logbooks and recommendations for gallant action. These brave young men were totally exposed, removed from their crew and charged with providing the ultimate protection from marauding Luftwaffe night fighters - they experienced dangers unique to their chosen trade. 'Glorious in solitude' also explores the historical aspects of equipment, uniform and the medals awarded to 'Rear Gunners' A fitting tribute to those men who endured such isolated hardship and to those who lost their lives in solitude.