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Johnny Checketts: The Road To Biggin Hill: A Gripping Story Of Courage In The Air And Evasion On The Ground

Vincent Orange,

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ISBN 10: 1904943799 / ISBN 13: 9781904943792
Published by Grub Street, 2006
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From Tacoma Book Center (Tacoma, WA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

ISBN 1904943799. Hardback. Reprint edition. Near Fine Condition book in a Near Fine Condition Dustjacket. Tight, bright, attractive copy with no markings to the book. As new condition. Bookseller Inventory # 9202817

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Johnny Checketts: The Road To Biggin Hill: A...

Publisher: Grub Street

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dustjacket included

Signed: No Signature

Edition: Later Edition

About this title


Johnny Checketts, widely recognized as one of the great fighter pilots of World War II, was born and raised in Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand.

Considered by the locals to be a daredevil motorcycle rider in his youth, it was natural that in 1939 he should join the RNZAF, then undergoing rapid expansion to its wartime strength of 33,000 men. In spite of being well over the average age for a fighter pilot, Johnny worked hard and turned out to be a great airman, tactician and leader in battle, achieving one of the highest scores of enemy aircraft destroyed in the air war over the Channel.

He was shot down in September 1943 but avoided capture by the Germans with the help of the French Resistance–an absorbing story in itself. Rising to the rank of Wing Commander and being personally decorated by King George VI, after the war Johnny returned to New Zealand, left the service in 1955, founded an aerial top dressing company, and then lived in happy retirement until his death in 2006 at the age of 94.

He is one of the true, though modest, ‘heroes’ of the war and Vincent Orange tells his story in a relaxed and elegant style taking the reader through Johnny’s exploits in a unique period of human history never likely to be repeated. Vincent Orange’s other titles for Grub include Park and Slessor: Bomber Champion.

About the Author:

Orange was born in 1935, in Shildon, County Durham and was educated at St. Mary's Grammar School, in Darlington, and at Hull University. Orange served in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1956. In 1962 he went to live in New Zealand and taught History at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch until he retired in 2002. His influence as an air power scholar is well known. His former students include prominent United Kingdom scholars Dr Joel Hayward and Dr Christina Goulter as well as Dr Adam Claasen of Massey University and Dr Andrew Conway of King's College London. Orange is married to Sandra, and has a stepdaughter Sarah.

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