Glorious in Solitude: The Courage of Isolated Rear Gunners in the RAF during the Second World War

Glorious in Solitude: The Courage of Isolated Rear Gunners in the RAF during the Second World War

Product no.: 978-1-78155-221-6
Cover price £25.00
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As technology and tactics in aerial combat rapidly developed in the Second World War, so the role of rear gunner was hurriedly established on board Whitley, Wellington, Lancaster and Halifax bombers.

Sitting alone in a tiny Perspex-encased turret, without any room for a parachute, the rear gunner occupied the most vulnerable position within the crew of an RAF bomber – an alarming claim considering that Bomber Command suffered the worst rate of casualties among all of Britain’s armed forces.

Using first-hand accounts taken from flying logbooks and recommendations for gallantry, Glorious in Solitude tells of the extraordinary courage of the volunteers who chose to be totally exposed, removed from their crew and charged with providing the ultimate protection from marauding Lufwaffe night fighters. It also examines the equipment, uniforms and medals awarded to rear gunners. With over 120 illustrations, this book is a tribute to the men who, by volunteering for such a precarious role, defended their aircraft and fellow crewmembers with nothing other than their lives.


Colin Pateman grew up in the south of England and spent the majority of his working life as a police officer. His key roles were in handling specialist search dogs and as a police search advisor, having been trained by the Royal Engineers. Colin is an avid collector of aviation memorabilia, gaining great satisfaction from the gathering and preservation of personal accounts of Second World War pilots and aircrews. His previous books for Fonthill Media include Unwanted Hero (2012), Goldfish, Guinea Pigs and Caterpillars (2012) and Unshackled Spirit (2013).

Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: hardback
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 134 b/w photographs

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