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Tail Gunner

by Richard Rivaz


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First published in 1943, this is the gripping story of one man's involvement in RAF Bomber Command's fledgling offensive between August 1940 and December 1941. Dick Rivaz was tail gunner to Leonard Cheshire, one of the most famous RAF pilots of the Second World War, flying in Whiteleys with 102 Squadron and latterly in Halifaxes with 35 Squadron. Unique among wartime memoirs, Tail Gunner was written within months of the events described, with all the immediacy of being at the very heart of the action. Rivaz graphically describes his experiences on night bombing attacks against heavily defended enemy targets like Duisberg, Dusseldorf and Essen, and relates a dramatic shoot-out with German fighters over La Rochelle in broad daylight during July 1941. Rivaz reveals the fine spirit of comradeship which developed in RAF bomber crews during the Second World War. Having survived the war, including two rescues from the North Sea, he was killed in October 1945, aged just 37.

Publication Details

The History Press
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Richard Rivaz (Author)

Richard Rivaz was born in Assam, India in 1908, the son of a colonial official with the Indian Civil Service. He returned to England as a child and studied painting at the Royal College of Art. He went on to teach at Collyer's School, Horsham, Sus...

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Tail Gunner
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