Liberators over the Atlantic

Author(s): Jack Colman and Richard Colman 

ISBN: 9781781556504
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Responding to 'the call', a young man learns to fly and recounts the challenges of hunting U-boats in the Atlantic.
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  • Insight into flying the iconic B-24 Liberator and navigational difficulties in a pre-digital age

  • Previously unpublished wartime photographs from the author’s private collection

  • Rich in detail, this will be of interest to aviation and military historians as well as modellers

Liberators over the Atlantic is an informative and personal account of a young man’s flying experiences during the Second World War. Growing up in York, Jack Colman achieved his long-held desire to become a pilot by joining the RAF in October 1940, just after his twenty-first birthday. Sent to Canada to learn to fly, he became intrigued by the technical and practical aspects of flying and navigation. Promoted to pilot/navigator, Colman joined Costal Command on Liberators based in Iceland.

The practical difficulties of flying over the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean protecting the convoys and hunting U-boats are relived as he battled with atrocious weather and navigational uncertainties. His brushes with death—in training and when operational, whether due to mechanical failure, flying into the sea, U-boat gunfire, or running out of fuel in an ever-changing hostile environment—are described realistically and calmly, often laced with dry humour. Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished photographs, this is essential reading on the war over the Atlantic against Hitler’s U-boat menace.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556504
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback with dust jacket
PAGES 304 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 December 2017
TERRITORY UK and Worldwide
ILLUSTRATIONS 37 black-and-white photographs


Born in 1919, Jack Colman was the only child of Freda and Harold of York. A conscientious student, he had an ambition from the age of ten to become a pilot. The Second World War was his opportunity. Selected for pilot training, he joined the RAF shortly after his twenty-first birthday, which rescued him, for a time, from an office job in insurance. Post-war, he enjoyed a spell as a commercial pilot for BEA until 1953, when layoffs saw him return to insurance. He and Peggy had two boys, Peter and Richard, of whom he was very proud.

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