The Squadron That Died Twice

By Gordon Thorburn

The Squadron That Died Twice Look inside
  • ISBN: 9781786060037
  • Publication Date: 5 May 2016
  • Preorder: Yes
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
  • Imprint: Metro Books, London

Availability: Preorder only




On a fine morning in May 1940, twelve twin-engined bombers of 82 Squadron RAF set out from Watton, Norfolk, in a brave but hopeless attempt to slow down the German armour ripping through Belgium. Sergeant 'Jock' Morrison was the pilot of the only one to come home. His aircraft was so badly damaged that it had to be written off. Heavy losses in Bomber Command in the Second World War were common, but this? Eleven out of twelve had been shot down by flak and fighters, and lay in burning fragments along the Belgium/France border. There were survivors among the aircrew, but not many. It is said that history repeats itself. And so it was, almost exactly three months later, on a cloudy day in August, that twelve more Bristol Blenheim bombers, each with a crew of three men, set off from RAF Watton in a gallant but doomed attempt to destroy a Luftwaffe base in enemy-occupied Denmark. One aircraft had to turn for home before it reached the target. The other eleven pressed on as the clouds disappeared and, on a fine sunny morning, were all shot down, the shattered wreckage littering the shores of the Lymfjord. At the time, when the whole world was trying to understand the impossible, how Germany could conquer Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium and France in a few weeks, and Poland before that - and surely Great Britain next - 82 Squadron's disasters were barely noticed. Based on the accounts of survivors and on squadron and other records, Gordon Thorburn's moving retelling of the story, of the events of it and the men in it, at last puts right that terrible omission.

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