Mission Completed - Sir Basil EmbryLondon: Methuen & Co., 1957, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper, with the price clipped and a little lifting to the laminate in places. Previous owners' name-stamp to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
Contains: Top edge dyed Blue; Maps ; Appendices ;
From the cover: “Sir Basil Embry began his career three years after the Royal Air Force was formed and by the time he retired as Commander-in-Chief Allied Air Forces, Central Europe, at the end of 1955, he had become a legendary figure. The first British airman to return home after escaping from the Germans during the Battle of France, he remained in the thick of the fighting all through the war, and few R.A.F. officers have had such varied experience both of combat and command.
Mission Completed is the personal story of a great man of action. Sir Basil writes of his early life as a young officer in Iraq and India, then of his recall to England at the outbreak of war. Soon he was flying over Norway and France with his Blenheim squadron. He was the first to sight the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau on their way to Norway and was one of the few survivors of a bomber attack on the Maastricht bridges. On a reconnaissance flight over enemy-occupied territory in the Battle of France he was shot down and taken prisoner. Then followed a dizzy series of captures and escapes. Dressed as a tramp, changing roles as French, Belgian, American or Irish refugee at will, he first tried to reach the Allied lines, but after Dunkirk made his way to the South of France and so to England.
Once more he was back in the fray, first at the head of a nightfighter wing during the Battle of Britain, then with the Desert Air Force during the 8th Army’s offensive in November, 1941. He-later took over command of Number 2 Group, which was responsible for some of the most daring and well planned raids of the war, including low-altitude precision attacks on the Gestapo headquarters at Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense, and Operation Jericho, in which the wall of Amiens prison was demolished to allow 258 French patriots, many under sentence of death, to escape. After the war he was, for four of the most strenuous years of his career, Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command. At that time the authorities wished to reduce Fighter Command to token strength, a policy to which Sir Basil was strongly opposed, and it was largely due to his vigour and persistence that Britain’s air defences were rebuilt after the Berlin air lift and during the Korean War. His book, alight with his fierce enthusiasm and his passion for flying, is not only the record of a fighter and leader of men, but one of the most vivid and informed about the air war.”