This frank account of New Zealand Spitfire pilot Doug Brown traces his training and action experienced in the RAF and social activities during the war. From ‘signing up’ as a young 20 year old when World War II broke out in 1939, he ventured to Canada on the Awatea with 200 trainees and then on to England.
The first solo in a Spitfire was almost his last and he crashed on his first operation with 485 Squadron. It was a life of contrasts: the thrill of flying; the loss of fellow airmen; anticipation of combat; the boredom of ‘readiness’; indulgent mess banquets; rough conditions; pranks and comradeship; and the unrelenting toil of war. None would deny the effect the intensive active service would have on the mental and physical state of pilots and all servicemen. Boys quickly became men and survivors would claim they were the best years of their lives.
Hamish Brown was born in Auckland in 1954. He spent 13 years at King’s School and King’s College and graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor in Commerce.
Following a stint as a structural engineer, Brown joined the family business. Hobbies include family stuff, DIY, small boat close-to-shore fishing and the golf driving range. Wine, Women and Song is about Hamish’s father, Doug Brown’s war experiences based on his letters and reminiscences, and stories told over the years. Brown is married to Alison and have two children, Sam and Ellie.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Illustrations: 200 b/w photographs