Bomber Command Books is the sales site for Mention the War Publications. We specialise in publishing and selling books about RAF Bomber Command in the Second World War and related topics. Our growing list of titles focuses on the aircraft, squadrons and above all the men and women who shaped the legend that endures to this day.
The intention of Mention the War Publications is to help preserve the memory of the 55,573 members of Bomber Command who gave their lives for our freedom and their more fortunate comrades who survived the ordeal. We aim to ensure that succeeding generations can learn about their feats of heroism which were on an unparalleled scale. The least we can do is perpetuate the story of what they achieved and how they did it.
Browse our online bookstore, read their stories and remember them...
Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Phillips DFC, MiD (twice) had an exciting war. Originally trained as a flight mechanic, he became one of the very first of the new breed of flight engineers. Posted initially to 103 Squadron, he was allocated immediately to the Conversion Flight, helping to convert new crews from two engines to four. While ‘instructing’, he flew in the first two of the historic, showpiece 1000 Bomber raids against Cologne and Essen as part of a scratch crew of tour-expired instructors. Posted to 1656 Conversion Unit he survived a number of scrapes with novice pilots (many who went on to have distinguished careers) and was Mentioned in Despatches for inventing two devices to instruct new engineers on the Lancaster’s fuel and hydraulics systems. Keen to operate, he was eventually hand-picked by Wing Commander Philip Haynes to join his crew for a tour with 626 Squadron, at the height of the Battle of Berlin. He was also the squadron’s flight engineer leader. When not flying with the CO, he flew with both Flight Commanders, and on one operation his Lancaster was struck by incendiaries, seriously injuring the mid upper gunner and obliging them to crash land. His crew included the famous naturalist, Eric Simms, who was an early ‘star’ of the BBC. Humphrey survived his tour, was awarded the DFC, and returned to instructing, being once more Mentioned in Despatches with 1668 HCU before the war’s end.
In 2017, Humphrey, with the able assistance of author Sean Feast, wrote 'A Thousand and One', Humphrey's autobiography. In doing so, Humphrey is believed to have become Britain's oldest first-time author at the age of 97. Sadly, he passed away shortly after his book was published. We are honoured and privileged to have helped Humphrey achieve his dream. Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Phillips, DFC, MiD, was an officer and a gentleman. We salute him and his fellows.
A Thousand and One by Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Phillips DFC, MiD. 9in x 6in, 156 pages, £11.99.
New from Bomber Command Books
Casualty of War - Letters Home from Flight Lieutenant Bill Astell, DFC
by Chris Ward
Over the years, books have appeared detailing the lives of some of the original ‘Dambusters’, whose names have become so familiar. Flight Lieutenant William ‘Bill’ Astell DFC was amongst their number, an experienced pilot who, after training in Rhodesia, had been posted to 148 Squadron in the Middle East. His experiences in that theatre included an horrendous accident, in which he suffered a head injury. Returning to ops, he was then shot down behind enemy lines, but evaded capture and got back to base, for which he was awarded the DFC. Eventually posted back to England, he joined 57 Squadron at RAF Scampton before moving with the unit’s ‘C’ Flight across the airfield to form the embryonic 617 Squadron. Heather Wareing, Bill’s youngest sister, was enthusiastic about the work of Chris Ward who has written several books on the Dams raid and the subsequent wartime exploits of 617 Squadron. She struck up a friendship with the author, travelling with him to visit her brother’s grave in Germany. Together they decided to dedicate a book to Bill, and Heather provided numerous family photographs, along with Bill’s letters, cables and airmail cards home from his postings, ended only by his untimely death on 17th May 1943. Bill’s letters are original and unedited, and reflect some language and attitudes that were of their time. In the interests of accuracy, his words are unchanged, giving the reader an authentic voice of pre-war Britain. A4, 116 pages, illustrated.
The Wartime Profile of 617 Squadron
by Chris Ward with Andy Lee and Andreas Wachtel
2018 marks both the centenary of the Royal Air Force and the 75th anniversary of the formation of 617 Squadron. As is well known, the unit was formed from scratch to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley in Germany. The mission was carried out successfully, though at the cost of eight Lancasters and 53 aircrew. 617 Squadron went on to specialise in precision attacks on the most difficult targets, including the battleship Tirpitz, which was finally sunk in a Norwegian fjord on 12th November 1944. Chris Ward has written a number of books about 617 Squadron's war; this commemorative volume brings together his extensive writing along with that of fellow specialists Andy Lee and Andreas Wachtel.
A4, 389 pages, £19.99