A Young Pilot’s WW2 Experiences in Europe and the Far East
Ben Walsh lied about his age to join the RAF, determined to play his part in the Second World War. He volunteered to be an intruder pilot, flying low level operations in the dark. Initially flying ops in Douglas Boston Intruder IIs, he then converted to the legendary de Havilland Mosquito FB VI. Ben flew ops for three years, starting in the skies over with Europe with 418 (RCAF) Squadron, then ferrying one of the first Mosquito FB VIs to India before flying in the Burma campaign with 27 Squadron (under Wing Commander Nicolson VC) and finally with 45 Squadron.
Although Ben survived belly landings, crashes, enemy fire and engine failures, the strain of combat operations took its toll on the still-young pilot. He and his navigator asked to be removed from operations, but their request was denied, both being threatened with court martial.
By the end of the war when still only 21 years old, Ben was suffering from a nervous condition known as ‘the twitch’. His confidence and health were restored by the young woman who had been his pen friend through the war, who became his wife and the mother of the man who has compiled this dramatic and moving story – Jeremy Walsh.
By Jeremy Walsh, Foreword by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton
Illustrations: 49 mono