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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4 - Home Bases EXTRA MATERIAL

Village crest near Oakington Airbase - Click to Enlarge

Under a Bomber's Moon captures the spirit of life on various Bomber Command airbases where Col Jones served. After completing his first tour of operations in autumn 1942, Col Jones was transferred to Waterbeach Airbase, just north of Cambridge, as Squadron Bombing Leader. The following passage, additional to the book, is from a letter to his mother describing how everyone on the airbase forgot the war briefly to celebrate Christmas.

“There were numerous celebrations, included in which was a football match between the officers and the sergeants. When the Group Captain saw that the officers were being beaten he led a rush onto the field. We all joined in regardless of spoiled uniforms – and when the sergeants watching saw him, they did the same, with the result that about 150 men were scrambling all over the place. Eventually the match spread out over three football fields. There was a rush for hot baths afterwards.

 

We ate a formal Xmas dinner in the mess. We all sat together, with the Group Captain at the head and his senior officers around him. The rest of us were further away. We had a very good meal, including roast goose. Then when it was over, the wireless was turned on and we heard the BBC announcer say: “This is London calling. His Majesty the King!”

 

There was silence absolute while the King was speaking and when he had finished [God Save] “The King” was played. The entire mess stood like ramrods. You could literally have heard a pin drop. Where about a quarter of an hour earlier there was merriment and loud laughter, now was utter silence. I thought to myself “that’s what we’re fighting for.” Then we all stood while the Group Captain went out.

 

Earlier, we had gone to the airmen’s dining room and served them with their meal. They had turkey. When I say “we” I mean the officers. We had a hell of a good time. While we were having our dinner, they brought over their impromptu band and serenaded us. Just before they withdrew, the Group Captain stood and with a glass uplifted said: “Gentlemen, I can say no more and no better than ‘to the good old erks.’” We all drank the toast. “Erk” is the RAF vernacular for the lowest ranks in the RAF.

 

We had an enjoyable day; and no-one did a tap of work. No-one even thought of it.”

 

Copyright: underabombersmoon.com