Bluebirds (Book One)

Andrew Francis and Gerry Donaldson were born on different sides of the Atlantic just before The Great War. Together with the mildly psychotic Bryan Hale, they fly Spitfires through the summer of 1940. Invasion is imminent and the country faces almost certain defeat and destruction at the hands of The Luftwaffe in The Battle of Britain.

Gerry, the first American to fire guns in anger against the Nazis, fights in spite of American isolationism, relinquishing his US citizenship and becoming a reluctant propaganda tool for the Air Ministry along the way. Andrew, newly married, fights to protect his headstrong wife and their unborn child. Bryan fights for the simple pleasure of the kill.

Vincent Drew, broken by childhood abuse, tumbles into their world and tears it apart.

Based on a true story, Bluebirds re-casts The Few in the darker shadow of their desperate times, fighting against terrifying odds with the ever-present expectation of violent, murderous death.

     'Bluebird approached the nearest bomber formation from its front port quarter, still ten thousand feet higher than the target. Above the bombers Andrew picked out a screening squadron of twin-engine German fighters.
     "Bluebird Leader, going down now! Tally-ho!”
     The Squadron Leader flipped his fighter upside down and screamed into a vertical dive, each member of the squadron followed one after the other. Andrew pushed the joystick hard over to the left, bringing the starboard wing up at right angles to the horizon. Kicking the port rudder to prevent the nose from rising, he brought the starboard wing all the way over until his machine hung upside down. He pulled the stick and dived after the others.
     Their speed mounted, creeping towards four-hundred miles-per-hour. The squadron tore through the milling fighter screen and opened up on the bombers. Lining up his sights ahead of a Dornier, Andrew opened fire at three hundred yards. His tracers spiralled past the front of the enemy. ‘Too much deflection.’ Pushing the stick further forward Andrew took his craft beyond the vertical and negative gravity dragged his head towards the perspex dome of the canopy. Blood forced its way into his temples as he fired again. Through the advancing red mist Andrew saw his fire striking the Dornier’s engine and wing, fragments flying off into the slipstream. He hauled the stick back and to the right, flashing past the German’s wing-tip. The gravity reversed, pushing him down into the seat. Blood flooded away from his head, darkness and quiet descended around him.

     Andrew’s head lolled as he blinked back to consciousness, momentarily unaware in his own world of strange silence. The noise of his engine tugged at his hearing, pervading by degrees from a painful distance. A black shape flashed across his vision snapping him back to the moment. He swerved to follow it. A Spitfire. Checking his mirror, he banked away to his right. Another Spitfire spun past, tracing a vortex of flames and smoke to the sea, the pilots arms flailing out of the opened canopy.

     Andrew snapped his head back to the front. Dead ahead a 109 curved upwards in a climbing turn. As it slowed at the top of the turn, the fuselage hung across Andrew’s windscreen. A large ace of spades decorated its bright yellow cowling. A black cross sat halfway towards the tail and forward of the cross, emblazoned in white, the number ‘13’. The pilot’s head twisted towards him.

     A sudden wave of rage crashed over Andrew. He stabbed the firing button. The Messerschmitt flew through his stream of bullets, hits splashing off the fuselage and tail. The German rolled on his back and pulled into a dive. Andrew followed.

     Screaming down towards the sea, Andrew fixed his target in the gunsights and fired another long burst. Pieces broke away from the 109 and flames burst from under its cowling, streaming back along the wing-roots.  Andrew’s helpless fury heightened. He pressed the firing button and held it down. The shuddering of the Spitfire’s eight machine-guns vibrated tears into his eyes. A section of the 109’s wingtip detached and the flaming fighter flipped into a violent spin.

     The noise and vibration ceased as the guns ran out of ammunition. Andrew eased out of the dive. He checked his mirror and scanned the sky. He was alone. He banked round and followed the smoke trail of his kill to the sea. A small oil slick marked the spot where his victim was buried, sinking quickly, strapped in, charred and  nameless behind a now-extinguished engine.

     A sudden chill crept over Andrew’s skin; he was defenceless. Skimming over the waves, he pushed the throttle forward and headed for the Kentish cliffs.'

Blackbirds (Book Two)

Bryan Hale leaves Bluebird Squadron to fly night-fighters as Britain struggles to find an effective opposition to the Luftwaffe's night-time bomber raids that are devastating English cities. His task takes on added pathos as his relationship with Jenny, a friend from his school-days, develops amidst the bohemian streets of a Blitzed capital.

'Work in progress...'     

Falcons (Book Three)

Bluebird Squadron is posted to Malta, a cauldron of air battles and bombing, an outpost under siege.

'Work in progress...'

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