By Gill Griffin, Barry Griffin
The 20-year-old Len Thorne joined the RAF in may possibly 1940. After nerve-racking excursions of operational accountability as a fighter pilot (including a few desperately harmful low-level flying at Dunkirk) he used to be published to AFDU (Air battling improvement Unit) and remained there as a try out pilot for the remainder of the battle. He flew either Allied airplane and captured enemy planes and used to be a colleague of a number of the fighter 'aces'. thankfully for us, Len saved an insightful diary, which, set along his log booklet, tells the original tale of a member of the AFDU, tasked with constructing oeprational strategies and trying out captured enemy plane. Len presents not just an perception into the superb paintings performed by means of the attempt pilots but in addition into the most recognized flyers of the RAF, with whom he labored, together with Wing Commander Al Deere and Spitfire Aces SL 'paddy' Finucane, Ernie Ryder, and so on. Len's diary for September 21 1942 files the 1st sighting of the scary FW190: 'The pilot played a sequence of fast rolls... metaphorically sticking up the proverbial fingers.' In could 1943 Len will be flying an identical sort after pilot Heinz Erhardt mistakenly landed one at Marston!
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Extra resources for A Very Unusual Air War: From Dunkirk to the AFDU--The Diary and Log Book of Test Pilot Leonard Thorne, 1940-45
MONTGOMERY: Last ship of expedition left the dock at Port Tampa at 10 this morning, and are now safely on their way. Following from General Miles to the President: " While the delay has been most vexatious, the time has been utilized to better equip and supply the command with what was imperatively needed for such a voyage and campaign, and will also give time for the insurgents to assemble as they have promised and are doing in strong force. " BRADY, Captain. 4, 1898-4 p. m. : Unofficial reports say that Shafter's expedition is not yet out of bay.
KEY WEST, June 8. " Last cipher just come by Resolute, just arrived; was pursued by' two vessels, Nicholas Channel, Cuba, last night. Shall I order Indiana and all available cruisers to coast of Cuba? More details to follow. " R. A. ALGER, Secretary of War. 06 p. m. R. A. ALGER, Secretary of War, W(tshington, D. : Message Teceived. Vessels aTe in the stream, but will be able to stop them before reaching the Gulf. SHAFTER, Major-General. 32 CORRESPONDENCE-WAR WITH SPAIN. # p. m. : If that report is true, those Spanish vessels could be within six hours of the loaded transports now, and there to-morrow.
Major-General SHAFTER, U. S. : Commissary-general has no knowledge of order requiring thirty days' rations be kept on hand for issue to troops. Secretary War approves issue of rations from depots for short intervals under regulations which you may prescribe. This in reply to your telegram of the 27th ultimo on the subject. By command Major-General Miles: H. O. S. Adjutant-General. , June 11, 1898. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D. : It is claimed, on what seems good grounds, that there has been a mistake in announCing the relative rank of Generals Henry, Poland, and Snyder.