Unwanted Hero: The Flying Career of Squadron Leader Donald Barnard DFC, 1937-1955

Author(s): Colin Pateman 

ISBN: 9781781550793
£13.29 £18.99
The story of a hero who was court-martialled due to unauthorised attempts to help emaciated Allied POW’s from Burma in 1945.
Trust Badge
Donald Barnard came to England from St Lucia to join the RAF as a bomber pilot. On his second tour of operations, he was shot down over northern France in September 1942. He was rewarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross whilst missing in action. Donald evaded capture; assisted to Spain by an escape network, and later compiled a detailed diary of his entire evasion exploits. Posted to test fly Spitfires, flying in excess of 1,000 individual aircraft. Barnard then moved to the Far East supply dropping in 1945.

In Burma disapproving of the delay in recovering the emaciated allied POWs, he decided to take an aircraft without authority. 25 prisoners were recovered from Bankok to Rangoon. After a full Court Martial, he was dismissed from the RAF. He flew civilian aircraft after the war in Australia and in Britain, joining No.2 Civil Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit in Norfolk, 1953. Flying ended for him in 1955, and he died in 1997 at the age of 79.

Rarely has the opportunity been available to reproduce from a diary such a personal account of evasion. A bomber and Spitfire pilot, Court Martialled for the rescue of Japanese held emaciated allied prisoners of war, creates a unique career story supported by French resistance sources original photographs.

BOOK ISBN 9781781550793
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 240 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 September 2012
ILLUSTRATIONS 45 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.