“In First Light, Geoffrey Wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the. In , the RAF was established as the world’s first independent air force. To mark the th anniversary of its creation, Penguin are. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF.

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The sun glints on their wings and bellies as they roll like trout in a stream streaking over smooth round pebbles.

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However, if you want a first-person account of a fighter pilot this is your book. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron.

Views Read Edit View history. I truly enjoyed Geoffrey Wellum’s story of wellym training and chuckled a good many times whilst reading about one thing or another. Jul 22, John rated it it was firwt.

First Light (Wellum book) – Wikipedia

Firstly, it is the memoir of a boy growing into manhood while flying Spitfires during the Battle of Britain. Darren Cholerton rated it it was amazing Nov 16, Robert Hall rated it it was amazing Oct 01, I’ve very nearly got the same feeling as I had when they put me in charge of night flying that dreadful night at Kidlington.

Most of the book is taken up with his training as a pilot and the fighting during the Battle of Britain. Here he joined Squadron on air defence duties. Geoffrey attended Forest school in Snaresbrook, and, while waiting that last term to join the RAF, captained the school cricket team.

That’s where Peter and I will come in, trying to stop him. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Girst many never return. Although there is an aching sense that Wellum himself is unsure of the answer, to the reader there is no doubt: Finally in Malta, he succumbs to combat fatigue that’s deep enough that a chronic sinusitus makes him unfit for flying.


Willum, one of “The Few” lionized by Winston Churchill as saving Britain, reminisces 35 years later about his thoughts, feelings, and observations as an experienced and full-fledged fighter pilot at 18 years old while he was fighting for his life in mile-per-hour dogfights in the summer and fall of against the dreaded Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitt s.

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Geoffrey Wellum obituary | World news | The Guardian

Preview — First Light by Geoffrey Wellum. Trout streams, water meadows, waders, fast-flowing water, the pretty barmaid at the inn.

Geoffrey’s stream of consciousness style is insightful, honest and captivating. Perhaps he didn’t make any detailed notes during those times. A Bf was claimed shot down [by Wellum] on 9 July wellym France. Welum fanatics and anyone who likes autobigraphies.

Interesting firsthand account of the Battle of Britain. Wellum is humble and thoroughly aware of his flaws and reading this book I felt–with his vivid descriptions of flying and combat–right there with him.

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. My second time through this book, having read it first several years ago. It’s well told, full of humor, sadness, and death defying flying and combat action. Paperbackpages. We must never forget them. He finished the furst as a gunnery instructor, staying in the RAF, first as a staff officer in West Germanyfollowed by a four-year tour with Squadron. He was then posted directly in May to 92 Squadronflying Spitfires.

Pages describe him in low overcast trying to find his way home — with a failed radio. At the end of the book, after closing the cover, I burst into tears.


First Light (Penguin World War II Collection)

Jan 23, Timothy and Lynney Graves rated it it was amazing. He married Grace, his wartime girlfriend and they had three children. His first commanding officer was Roger Bushelllater immortalised in The Great Escape[4] and his close colleagues included Brian Kingcome.

His description of flying back to base in bad weather is worth the cost of the book by itself. Paula Jones rated it it was amazing Aug 29, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A battle-hardened ace by the winter ofthough still notout of his teens, Boy flew scores of qellum as fighter escort onbombing missions over France.

Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terr. Firstly, this book has moved, in a single reading, into my top five favourite books of all fist. Lists with This Book.

Anyone wishing to know what it was like to fly a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain will find their curiousity satisfied by reading this outstanding book. D Holmes rated it it was amazing Oct 30, From gypsy moth novice to that very first night flight and into the seat of a Spit. I lovely the way Geoffrey writes. We get plenty of air combat descriptions, we get the whole story of his training, and we get quite a lot of self-analysis and reflection.


Two and one shared Messerschmitt Bf s were claimed ‘damaged’ during November It really wasn’t that long ago when 20 year fkrst were flying Spitfires and defending the country The story begins as the dark clouds gather over Europe in the late thirties.