Glorious in Solitude: The Courage of Isolated Rear Gunners in the RAF During the Second World War

Author(s): Colin Pateman 

ISBN: 9781781552216
£17.50 £25.00
The rear gunner’s domain was a tiny Perspex-encased turret and there was no room for a parachute...

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As technology and tactics in aerial combat rapidly developed in the Second World War, so the role of rear gunner was hurriedly established on board Whitley, Wellington, Lancaster and Halifax bombers.

Sitting alone in a tiny Perspex-encased turret, without any room for a parachute, the rear gunner occupied the most vulnerable position within the crew of an RAF bomber – an alarming claim considering that Bomber Command suffered the worst rate of casualties among all of Britain’s armed forces.

Using first-hand accounts taken from flying logbooks and recommendations for gallantry, Glorious in Solitude tells of the extraordinary courage of the volunteers who chose to be totally exposed, removed from their crew and charged with providing the ultimate protection from marauding Lufwaffe night fighters. It also examines the equipment, uniforms and medals awarded to rear gunners. With over 120 illustrations, this book is a tribute to the men who, by volunteering for such a precarious role, defended their aircraft and fellow crewmembers with nothing other than their lives.

BOOK ISBN 9781781552216
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 272 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 October 2013
ILLUSTRATIONS 134 black and white photographs



Colin Pateman served for 32 years in Sussex Police, a qualified Home Office Instructor in all Police Dog roles. In addition, the specific search dog requirements with the armed services saw him trained by the Royal Engineers, and deployed as a search advisor in both his home county and Nationally.

He is an avid collector of military medals and memorabilia, with a particular interest in the Royal Air Force. The author of Airborne Animals and Cockpit Companions and the Co-author of Unwanted Hero.