The Experiences of a Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot
- Brian Lane
- Foreword by Dilip Sarkar
15th June 2009
The remarkable Battle of Britain experiences of Spitfire pilot Brian Lane, DFC. Brian Lane was only 23 when he when he wrote his dramatic account of life as a Spitfire pilot during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. Lane was an 'ace' with six enemy 'kills' to his credit and was awarded the DFC for bravery in combat. The text is honest and vibrant, and has the immediacy of a book written close the event, untouched, therefore, by the doubts and debates of later years. Here we can read, exactly what it was like to 'scramble', to shoot down Messerschmitts, Heinkels, Dorniers and Stukas and how it felt to lose comrades every day. Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC was not only an exceptional fighter pilot but likewise a gifted leader, at all levels. In what was still a hierarchical and class conscious culture, 'Chiefy' Lane was different: he knew everyone under his command by first names, no matter how lowly their rank or status, and in the air he was always unflappable, calmly making the right tactical decision and in the process earning unlimited respect amongst pilots and aircrew. All these years later the survivors still speak of him with an unparalleled affection and respect bordering upon a holy reverence. High drama has never before been so characteristically understated, written, as it was, by the 'Finest of the Few'.