- All known combat claims and losses
- Many personal accounts and memories of the battle
- Illustrated with new and rarely seen photographs
By the end of 1941, following its participation in the Battle of Britain, 249 Squadron was posted to Malta. Having been informed that its pilots would be required to fly from the deck of an aircraft carrier, intensive practice flights took place with two Hurricanes fitted with long-range tanks, making shortened take-off runs from an airfield runway. The following month, having been ferried to Gibraltar, the aircraft were off-loaded on to the Ark Royal and all twenty safely reached Malta – an area dubbed a fighter pilot’s paradise.
This was the beginning of 249’s adventure in the defence of Malta. Spitfires would follow early in 1942 and by the time it moved to a new theatre of operations, 249 had claimed 245 air victories, producing ace pilots such as ‘Screwball’ Beurling, ‘Laddie’ Lucas, Johnny Plagis and John Lynch to name but a few. There was seldom a shortage of targets as the Luftwaffe endeavoured to flatten the defences and destroy the small air force, in which it failed, but only narrowly.
Brian Cull has been writing Second World War aviation history for the past twenty-five years and has in excess of twenty-five titles to his credit. These include the Bloody Shambles series, Hurricanes over Malta, Spitfires over Malta, Twelve Days in May, Diver! Diver! Diver!, Gladiator Ace, Screwball Beurling, and Fighters over the Aegean, Blenheims over Greece and Crete and First of the Few are a series of books for Fonthill Media.
Frederick Galea is an aviation enthusiast and researcher/writer and is Malta’s War Museum Association’s honorary secretary and newsletter editor.
234 x 156 mm - hardback - 256 pages - 61 black-and-white photographs