The Battle of Britain's top-secret glider flights

In proving the ability of the new air defence radar network to detect a German glider-borne invasion, some of Britain’s leading ‘silent flight’ exponents were called upon to perform a series of tests — multiple record-holder Philip Wills among them
The late Philip Wills, glider pilot extraordinaire.
The late Philip Wills, glider pilot extraordinaire. ALAMY

Elderly politicians run through their diaries and write their (often loaded) memoirs. Elderly pilots run through their logbooks, and from the bald entries the past comes alive.

In 1940 I was OC No 3 Ferry Pool, Air Transport Auxiliary, White Waltham.

14 June — Anson 3375, WW-Brooklands, 0.20 hours. Wellington 2466, Brooklands-Silloth, 1.50 hours. Anson 9469, Silloth-Ringway-WW, two hours.

15 June — Anson 9651, WW-Radlett, 0.25 hours. Hampden 4396, Radlett-Kirkbride.

23 June — Avro 504N G-ADBM, Christchurch-Worth Matravers.

Avro 504N? Have I slipped a war? Memory floods back. I turn a page. Avro 504N G-ADBM, Tiger Moth R5191, Avro 504N G-ADET, up to 8 July. Then, on 11 July, back to Hurricane 1973, White Waltham-Hullavington, 0.35 hours.

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