Wings Across the Border: a history of aviation in north Wales and the northern Marches
Derrick Pratt & Mike Grant
This third volume of Wings Across the Border, complete in itself, covers the period 1940–41, a period of experimentation as the RAF and the other armed services tried to tackle the problems of countering the Luftwaffe. It examins in detail the air defences, early warning systems and decoy sites of the region. The relative isolation of north wales, located away from the main region of air action in the south-east of England, was not reflected in the number of aircraft that made 'involuntary' landings in the region. Flying-boat manufacturer Saunders-Roe moved much of their work from Hampshire to Anglesey and the story of SARO Beaumaris is told in depth. Attention is also given to the involvement of the local population in the air war — whether by enlisting in the RAF, raising money to buy Spitfires, manufacturing aircraft or witnessing the recovery of crashed and damaged machines. Finally, the Air Transport Auxiliary, the 'Forgotten Air Force', played a significant role in the history of aviation during the Second World War and their story is covered in the final chapter.
This history includes more than 400 photographs, maps and diagrams, many never previously published.
'There is no doubt the series will be the standard work of reference for avaiation matters in the area' — Airfield Review
256pp, 215 x 270mm, softback, illustrated
Derrick Pratt was born in Acrefair, Wrexham, and educated at Grove Park Grammar School and the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he read geography and German. He was head of PE and Geography at Penley School where, for twenty-five years, he was also deputy head teacher. Between 1961 and 1996 he was a part-time tutor in local history for the UCNW Extra Mural Department. he is the President of the Wrexham Maelor Historical Society and the Holt Local History Society and Vice-President of the Denbighshire Historical Society. A keen archaeologist, he has published over 150 articles and 17 books on local history.
Mike Grant was educated at St Mary's School, Wrexham, where Flt/Lt David Lord, VC, DFC was once a pupil. A trained mechenic, he became a civilian member of the Aerospace Society, preparing aviation heritage material for display at the RAF Museum. From there he became a member of the Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group where he worked on the restoration of engines and airframes. He was appointed the Group's archivist and pre-recovery crash-site recorder. He is a meber of the RAF Hsitorical Society, Air Britain and Cross & Cockade International.