Fuel, Fire and Fear: RAF Flight Engineers at War

Author(s): Colin Pateman 

ISBN: 9781781556757
$23.00 $33.00
The development of the complex role in keeping large bombers in the air by RAF flight engineers during 1941 to 1946.
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  • Provides a detailed examination of the development of flight engineers during the Second World War

  • Packed with incredible stories of individual heroism and sacrifice

  • Assiduously researched, rich in detail and lavishly illustrated

  • Supported by National Archives’ historical documentation originated from within the RAF.

  • Referenced from operational Flying Log Books written by aircrews

  • Foreword supplied by Flight Sergeant M. Fellows MSc, BSc, MRAeS, of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

During the Second World War, the need for an on-board technical expert to join Bomber Command evolved. The various systems on the Handley Page Halifax, Short Stirling and Avro Lancaster witnessed the development of flight engineers.

Fuel, Fire and Fear: RAF Flight Engineers at War explains the origin of engineers, the training of these men and the complexity of maintaining large aircraft in the air is an enthralling story.

Many gallantry medals were won by flight engineers, including the Victoria Cross. Accounts of dangerous operational flying will be revealed by engineers in numerous aircraft, including those of Coastal Command.

Direct entries into the RAF by civilians were undertaken to satisfy the demand for such technicians. Entrants underwent courses of varying lengths, but flying training time was sparse and remarkably it was not unknown for these men to qualify for their flying brevet without ever having flown in a bomber.

This book examines true accounts that took place; many are based upon personal flying logbooks, and other unique material originating from the pilots and aircrews.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556757
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 240 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 52 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.