Eagle's War: The War Diary of an Aircraft Carrier - Peter C. (Charles) SmithBristol: Crecy Books , 2004, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper at the head of the spine, a decent copy otherwise.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Diagrams; List of sources;
From the cover: “This gripping and moving story of a famous aircraft carrier at war is seen through the eyes of its former crew members. These eyewitness accounts have been supplemented by meticulous research by the author and are further enhanced by rare photographs taken at the time, mostly from private collections. The result is both moving and informative naval history at its best.
HMS Eagle was old before WWII started, and her many achievements have been largely overshadowed by the publicity given to her more well-known companions Ark Royal, Illustrious, Victorious, Indomitable and the USS Wasp. The work of the gallant old Eagle equalled these ships’ achievements and, in some ways, may have even surpassed them.
In the Far East when war was declared in September 1939 Eagle’s few Swordfish biplanes were soon flying escort to vital Australian troop convoys and hunting enemy surface raiders in the wastes of the Indian Ocean. When the war moved to the Mediterranean this one old carrier, with her meagre air group bolstered by a few Sea Gladiator biplanes held the ring with Cunningham’s superb fleet through the dark days of 1940 and 1941. Her aircraft took part in the naval victories of Calabria and Taranto; worked from desert air strips with great success and hounded the Italian Navy out of the Red Sea. She survived massive bombing by two angry air forces.
Following further ocean patrols in the South Atlantic Eagle joined the famous Force ‘H’ at Gibraltar and did more than any other ship to sustain Malta during the islands’ greatest ordeal, by flying off modern fighter aircraft to boost the air defences.
She was finally lost in action during the greatest of all convoy battles Operation Pedestal, in August 1942, but she had already earned her place in history. This almost day-by-day account of her battles and actions preserves that honoured place in the annals of the Fleet Air Arm and is a fitting tribute to all who served aboard her or flew from her decks.”