Scottish Military Aerodromes of the 1920s and 1930s
,,,from Fonthill Media
Title: Scottish Military Aerodromes of the 1920s & 1930s
Author: Malcolm Fife
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Another excellent book from author Malcolm Fife and publisher Fonthill Media, a fine follow-up to his earlier airfield histories of both Drem and Acklington. This new one covers the period after WW1, a time when post-war cost cutting left only a few military airfields operating in Scotland.
Each aerodrome is covered in its' own chapter, and these feature 7 aerodromes at Leuchars, Donibristle, Turnhouse, Novar/Evanton, Abbotsinch, Montrose and West Freugh. Each one has a brief background to it's development and then a detailed account of the various roles each one played over the inter-war period, the people, the units and the aircraft. They changed from time to time and units moved around the UK. Some spent time as pilot/aircrew training bases, others for Fleet Air Arm training and support for units based with the Royal Navy using bases such as Rosyth. I rather like the authors style of writing as he manages to get a lot of individual facts and stories into a very readable narrative. The final part of each chapter also updates the story of the airfield up to the present day. Some are still operational while others are now housing estates. Each one is also accompanied by a good selection of interesting archive photos. At the end of the book there are a couple more chapters looking at airfields built in 1939, when WW2 was breaking out and also a number of places around Scotland where flying boats/seaplanes could be moored, though no other special facilities for them.
I found this a book I wanted to keep reading as it held my attention from start to finish. The stories are sometimes sad and the number of fatal accidents even in peacetime operations is a sign of what were still quite primitive aircraft, and some even include the programmes for early Empire Flying Displays at the different bases. Another very good book and interesting for any enthusiast of RAF history in the UK.
Thanks to Malcolm Fife for my review copy.