Pilots and Partisans

Photos and interviews


Countless people made this project possible and I would like to thank all of them. However, I would especially like to thank my friends who nudged me along the way, my children Thomas and Tilly who behaved impeccably when dragged off to interminable photo shoots of old pilots – they knew something was up from the way their dad was curiously in awe of his subjects – and for their excellent work in holding reflectors and making me so proud of them all sorts of other ways.

I owe a great deal of gratitude to Mike Stoenholtz for taking such great photos of American pilots and for being such a pleasure to work with.  You can see some of his other work at www.schoenholtzphotography.com/ 

I would also like to thank:

Peter and Sandy Haupt at Two Old Oaks book store in Simons Town for putting me in touch with Wing Commander Lance Burra-Robinson.  Lance was the first pilot I photographed way back in 1997 and I feel privileged to have got to know him as a friend. 

Commodore Jeremy Rigby R.N. for introducing me to Walter Morison.

The colonel at the German Embassy in London whose official letter stated it was not the policy of the embassy to give out names, but whose hand written note put me in touch with Herr Theo Nau who introduced me to Dr Kurt Braatz and in turn General Miroslav Standerer, General Gunther Rall, Colonel Gunter Seeger and Captain Hein Gering.  

Horrido to all my German pilots, especially Theo who became a good friend.

Colonel Wulf Ehrhardt for acting as translator during my interview with Colonel Gunter Seeger.  Thank you also for your amusing company and a fine dinner.

My parents-in-law, Dr Marcus and Kay Rigby, for looking after my children when I went to Germany and the Czech Republic to meet pilots for the book.  

The very helpful and enthusiastic staff at the Royal Australian Air Force Museum in Bull Creek, Perth, Western Australia for putting me in touch with George Gilbert, Brian Walley and Tom Dean.  Thanks also for entertaining my children while I photographed George, Brian and Tom.

Graham Johnson for putting me in touch with his father, Major Eric Johnson.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil for giving me contact details for Lieutenant Commander Peter Twiss RN and Captain Eric Brown RN.

Johnny Walker for introducing me to his grandfather Dick Walker.

The South African Airforce Museum at Ysterplaat in Cape Town for their general help.

Colonel Johan “Gerrie” Radloff for putting me in touch with General Dick Lord.

Squadron Leader Tony Lunnon-Wood for the extracts from Peter Lunnon-Wood’s log books.  Peter was one of my childhood heroes.  His exploits excited me beyond words.

Mike and Tim Nielsen for the photographs and stories about their dad Dick Nielsen.  

Mr Stewart W. Bailey, Curator of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon for being so helpful in putting me in touch with American pilots including Colonel Jim Ashford.  www.evergreenmuseum.org

General Charles (Chick) Cleveland, who at the time of writing was president of the American Fighter Aces Association, for all his generous assistance in introducing me to almost all of America’s surviving high-scoring WWII fighter aces.

Bruce Gordon for assisting with photos of old aircraft and looking for pilots in Japan, France and Russia. In a former life, Bruce had been involved with restoring WWII aircraft.

Mrs Allison Hetman at the Comox Air Force Museum in British Columbia for giving me some leads on surviving Canadian pilots and the Bomber Command Museum in Alberta. And for introducing me to the legendary Canadian ace “Stocky” Edwards.

To the colonels and staff at the veterans organisations in Kiev and Dnepr for going to so much effort to introduce me to the last of the Soviet WWII combatants in Ukraine, pilots and partisans. And thanks to Yuliya Shapovalova for her excellent work as a translator.

To the many people who have given me words of support and encouragement over the years. 

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