Rhapsody in Blue: An RAF Fighter Pilot’s Life During the Cold War (paperback edition)

Author(s): Graham Williams 

ISBN: 9781781556658
£13.29 £18.99
An authentic description of a Cold War warrior’s time in the RAF in the frontline and test world.
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  • An authentic portrayal of life in the RAF covering frontline operations in the UK, Middle East and Germany, and flight testing at Boscombe Down and Farnborough from 1955 to 1991

  • The unique tale of the 1969 Trans-Atlantic Air Race in a Harrier

  • A stimulating and easy to read biography of interest to aviation/military historians and modellers

Rhapsody in Blue: An RAF’s Fighter Pilot’s Life During the Cold War is a fighter pilot’s autobiography of life in the RAF from 1955 to 1991. It is structured around the Hawker Hunter, the first operational aircraft the author flew in 1958 to 1985.

It includes operational tours on 54 Sqn, 145 Sqn (229 OCU), 8 Sqn in Aden during the Radfan campaign; a year at the Empire Test Pilots’ School, followed by four years on the Fighter Test Sqn at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, including the 1969 Transatlantic Air Race in a Harrier; command of one of the first operational Harrier squadrons in Germany; the delights of off-base operations; a ground tour on the staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square; command of a RAF Germany base with four nuclear capable Jaguar squadrons; a ground tour as Gp Capt Operations in Germany; a short tour as CO Experimental Flying at Farnborough; and a final flying tour as Commandant of A&AEE.

The epilogue covers the final five years of service in the MOD, including the demise of the Nimrod AEW, the birth of the Typhoon, and a final year as commandant general of the RAF Regiment.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556658
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 272 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 December 2017
ILLUSTRATIONS 71 black-and-white photographs



Graham Williams served for thirty-seven years in the RAF, retiring in 1991 as an air vice-marshal. He has extensive experience as a strike/attack pilot on Hunters, Harriers and Jaguars in the UK, Middle East and Germany, and as a test pilot. He commanded a Harrier squadron, a Jaguar station and his R&D experience culminated in command of A&AEE (Boscombe Down), followed by five years in the MOD responsible for new equipment requirements for the RAF. Williams is a holder of the Air Force Cross and bar and the Harmon Trophy.