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Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer: An RAF Pilot's Memoir of the Second World War

Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer: An RAF Pilot's Memoir of the Second World War (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer is a vivid and lyrical memoir of life as an RAF reconnaissance pilot in France during the hellish summer of 1940. It brings to life the fear, loneliness and pain that Alastair Panton and his comrades came to live with during those long weeks, as well as the bravery, camaraderie and humanity that made those unpredictable days more bearable. The aeroplane Panton captained throughout this intense period was a Bristol Blenheim Mark IV. He saw the Blenheim as his friend and saviour. It was the vehicle from which he and his crew were able to spot the enemy and save lives, repeatedly withstanding shooting and bombardment to facilitate dramatic landings and rescues. Yet despite these heroic adventures, culminating in his being shot down a fourth time, captured and made a prisoner of war, Panton describes Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer as a story of failure. Whilst he survived, so many of his friends and comrades did not, and this grief never left him. Panton's extraordinary book, written in the aftermath of the war but discovered posthumously, is edited and introduced by his granddaughter Victoria Panton Bacon.A candid and gripping read, this is very much the story of a pilot and his plane.

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: historical, political & militaryBiographyMemoirsHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistorySecond World WarHistory & PoliticsMilitary StudiesAir forces & warfare Publisher: Biteback Publishing Publication Date: 11/07/2014 ISBN-13: 9781849546683  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Air Commodore Alastair Panton served in the Royal Air Force for thirty-five years. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Gallantry in 1940 and also received an OBE in 1950 and a CB in 1969. He ended his military service as Provost Marshal and Head of RAF Security. After his retirement, he became Steward of Penrhyn Castle in Wales and then ran a second-hand bookshop in North Yorkshire. Panton died in December 2002. Victoria Panton Bacon worked for the Prime Minister in the 1990s before becoming a BBC television producer, where she made films in the UK and Europe, including Bosnia. She is a trustee of Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope, a family charity she founded in 2011 with her twin sister, Sarah, to raise money for children in developing countries who need prosthetic legs. Victoria lives in South Norfolk with her husband Richard, the local Member of Parliament, and their two sons. She has twice run the London Marathon and her other interests include tennis and family, not necessarily in that order.

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