They Also Served - An Autobiography of a Wellington Bomber Pilot
This is a true account of Les Hather's (my father) exploits as a Wellington Bomber pilot in the Second World War. Les has written a detailed factual account of his bombing operations From March 1943 to December 1944. In this period my father flew 71 sorties over North Africa, the Middle East and Italy with 104 Squadron over two tours of duty. More
This is a true account of Les Hather's (my father) exploits as a Wellington Bomber pilot in the Second World War.
In his book, Les has written a detailed factual account of his bombing operations from March 1943 to December 1944. In this period my father flew in 71 sorties whilst flying in the Royal Air Force over two tours of duty, both of which were with 104 Squadron. The first tour was based over North Africa and the second over the Middle East and Italy.
Now 90 years of age, Les Hather wrote this moving account of the time he served in the Royal Air Force whilst flying Wellington Bombers. With a great deal of help from his loving wife Mary, a very limited number of books were originally published in 1997. Sadly Mary passed away on July 20th 2012 aged 89.
Les remains in good health and still regularly goes for long walks with his daughter Margaret and their two German Shepherd dogs.
Living in this relatively trouble free time, it is difficult to comprehend the courage that must have been shown and continues to be demonstrated today by those who serve for their country in the various armed services around the world.
It is due to people like these that we now live in our unsuppressed and free society. Not only should we never forget them, but we should always show gratitude towards them for what they have done and continue to do for us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Les Hather was born in 1922 in Sheffield and was educated at Firth Park Grammar School, leaving on the outbreak of war. He volunteered at the age of 18 years for the Royal Air Force for pilot training and successfully completed 71 bombing sorties as an aircraft captain, being commissioned in the field during his second tour of operations.
On leaving the Air Force in 1946 he entered the Civil Service from which he eventually retired from a senior management post at the age of 60 years. During the earlier years of employment he studied during the evenings and week-ends for a period of 3 years, obtaining the professional qualification of Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII).
He married Mary, a secretary, shortly before leaving the RAF. They have four children and four grandchildren, all living locally.
Retirement is being enjoyed in Bournemouth where they have lived for the last forty years. Holidays abroad, DIY, gardening, dog walking and swimming in their outdoor pool (DIY constructed) are their main pastimes.
DEDICATION FROM THE AUTHOR
This book is dedicated to my late beloved wife Mary, our family of four children and four grandchildren who I hope will never see another such conflict.
To my two crews on 104 Squadron whose combined exceptional efforts helped in my survival. Finally to all those young colleagues on 205 Bomber Group, Middle East, including 104 Squadron, when so many were lost on operations.
It is to the dead and the living who gave their best in the completion of their duties but gained little special recognition that this book is especially dedicated - for they also served.
I will always be grateful to my wife, Mary, for her patience and understanding during the long periods of solitude necessary in the three winters when I was occupied in writing the various drafts of this book. Her proof reading, observations and suggestions have been appreciated, also her typing of the final draft on to our computer. She never complained but encouraged me at all times in spite of my absences on several daily occasions to the Public Record Office for research purposes.
The contributions by my daughter Margaret, son David and son-in-law Tony Dashwood, who has a better computer and printer than mine, assisted me enormously, as did the encouragement of the whole family.
To our late and greatly missed Pat and Winde Windebank ( a fellow war time air crew member) both close friends