The French Squadrons
A True Story of Love and War
15th March 2016
Barbara Harper-Nelson was once the nineteen-year-old girlfriend of twenty-two-year-old French airman Francis Usai, who served in the RAF Bomber Command. Amazingly, she still possesses the letters she received from this witty and amusing young Frenchman, exiled from his conquered country but still fighting for freedom and undertaking nightly missions into the horrendous firestorm that was the Battle of the Ruhr.
Together with her own diaries, these letters constitute a unique, evocative and often amusing conversation between two young people during a turbulent and often terrifying time in history, as they coped with the daily threat of permanent separation and the regular, tragic loss of close friends. The intensity of their love story and the quality of their courage catch at the heart, showing how the human spirit endures, even and especially during times of war.