About The Book

Under a Bomber’s Moon is the true story of a New Zealand navigator-bomb aimer with the Royal Air Force and a German night fighter pilot as they fight for success and survival over night time Germany during the bitterest years of the Second World War. In early 1944, after completing one tour of operations and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits, the New Zealander, Colwyn Jones, was killed during a raid on Berlin.

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About The Night War Over Europe

During the Second World War the night sky over Europe was one of the most lethal places to wage war. By 1945 almost half of the airmen who flew with Bomber Command and a third of the Luftwaffe night fighter crew pitted against them had been killed. Many German cities became moonscapes of rubble, their inhabitants the first to experience the reality of ‘total war’ – itself a glimpse of the destructive potential of the nuclear age about to explode in the Far East.

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PART ONE: BEARINGS - CHAPTER OVERVIEW

A search begins, but why?

The author begins a quest to find out what happened on both sides of the night war over Germany, in which his great-uncle, Col Jones, died bombing Berlin. Extra material: A journey along Berlin's ghost road.

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Surviving a dramatic shooting down in the English Channel

The path towards the New Zealand airman’s destruction plunges into the sea when his bomber, attacked by a night fighter, ditches in the English Channel.

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Crossing the oceans to join an island under siege

Extra material: Col Jones describes crossing the Pacific, via Suva and Pearl Harbour to Vancouver, with New Zealand and Australian air recruits.

Then they must run the U-boat gauntlet to cross the Atlantic....

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Gearing up on land for war by air

As Col Jones begins attacking Germany at the darkest point of the war for Britain, he discovers the spirit that helped repel invaders in centuries past. Extra material: Christmas revelry at Col's airbase.

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The other warrior: The making of one of Hitler's elite airmen

A Luftwaffe ace looks back - a special greeting from Otto-Heinrich Fries.

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PART TWO: COMBAT - CHAPTER OVERVIEW

Battling the elements and refining the art of stealth

Extra material: Confronted with the growing might of Bomber Command, The Luftwaffe night defence picks up the pace in this massive arms race.

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Bombing Germany, living through the flames
Extra material Coming soon: A tour of the flak bunkers. Please visit again.

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Narrowly escaping death - and coming back for more

Extra material: Col's skipper reports the clash that nearly finished them.

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In the cockpit with one of Germany's night stalkers

Read Extract from Under a Bomber's Moon.

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Turning the guns on the night fighters

Extra material: In the Mosquitoes' hunting zone.

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PART THREE: RECKONING - CHAPTER OVERVIEW

Coming to terms with the loss of friends

Extra material: The losses of Bomber Command.

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A pilot remembers

Extra material: A former pilot of the 'fabulous Lancaster' says it didn't deserve the name German night fighter pilots gave it 

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What really happened that fatal night?

Extra material coming soon: Revisiting the site of Col's demise.

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In New Zealand and in Britain an airman's loss is keenly felt

Extra material: On the eve of flying to his death, Col desperately tries to contact a visiting journalist friend.

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In the ashes of defeat, Germans count their losses

Extra material coming soon: Germany's utter defeat is told in its monuments. Photo essay.

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Living in the shadow of war

Extra material: How the children of Germany's Nazi warriors experienced their country's shame. A message from Otto-Heinrich Fries's daughter.

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A spirit is put to rest

Extra material coming soon: An RAF airman is laid to rest near Col, 64 years after dying over Berlin.

See photo essay.

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Col Jones

Fries Greeting