RAF Special Duties: Unique Sorties of the Second World War

Author(s): Colin Pateman 

ISBN: 9781781553046
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Thrilling rare and previously unpublished special operations flown by the RAF during the Second World War.
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During the Second World War, the RAF employed Special Duties pilots and aircrew on operations across a wide range of extraordinary and daredevil missions. In many instances, specially selected and trained crews flew specific sorties, seeking out small targets of utmost importance to the war effort. A number of these operations were filmed by cameramen and RAF Special Duties: Unique Sorties of the Second World War enables their stories to be told for the first time.

The various exploits in this exceptionally well-researched and gripping book are supported, in many instances, by ‘Flying Logbooks’ and other materials stemming directly from the pilots themselves. These men were true originals - undertaking hugely dangerous missions against the odds, and often operating as individual aircraft in completely unknown conditions. Accounts in the book include:

  • Cameramen flying on special raids to film precise low level Mosquito sorties, including on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen

  • A Mosquito pilot flying a single aircraft into Germany to cause disruption by setting off air raid sirens

  • A Stirling pilot flying with radar-jamming equipment to disguise the D-Day invasion

  • Mosquito pilots attacking targets identified by British SAS units in France

  • Experience as a wireless operator flying in Churchill's personal aircraft

  • Dropping supplies over Burma

BOOK ISBN 9781781553046
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 224 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 January 2015
ILLUSTRATIONS 110 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.